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Full text of "The history of the city of Albany, New York, from the discovery of the great river in 1524, by Verrazzano to the present time"

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The City of Albany, 








Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881, by 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington 


Although written two hundred and sixty years after 
the occupation of the site of the city of Albany by the 
first settlers, this work presents a number of facts con- 
tradicting certain statements respecting that event and 
others preceding it. It will be seen in the first chapter 
that Henry Hudson, the English navigator, was not the 
discoverer nor the first explorer of the river which now 
bears his name. The Grande River, as the Hudson was 
first geographically designated, was discovered in 1524 by 
Giovanni da Verrazzano, who had been commissioned to 
make discoveries of new countries by Francis I., king 
of France. Shortly afterward it was ascended to its 
navigable height by French seamen trading for furs 
with the Indians living on its shores. 

The title of the French to the discovered territory 
was perfected by occupation. Early in the sixteenth 
century they built, as it appears, two forts, one on the 
island where the city of New York is, and another on 
Castle Island, near the site of Albany. When the first 
vessel conveying emigrants from Amsterdam, Holland, 
to the country of the Grande River reached the mouth 
of the noble stream, the officer of the French barque, 
anchored there, not only declared the fact of the 
previous possession of the attractive domain by his 
countrymen but peremptorily forbade the occupation of 
this part of New France by the Dutch usurpers. 


Remarkable as. it is true, the greater number of the 
first settlers of Albany were Walloons, — French people. 
Hitherto the year 1()23, instead of 1024, has erroneously 
been given as the date of the planting of the first colony 
on the site of the city of Albany. 

The peculiar prominence of Albany as the council- 
place of the Indians and the English governors of the 
American provinces in the colonial period; its peculiar 
geographical position as the military gate- way of the 
country during the Indian and French wars and during 
the revolutionary struggle; its selection as the place of the 
convocation of the first provincial congress which form- 
ulated a '^plan of a proposed Union of the several col- 
onies ;" these and many other important facts make its 
history notable and attractive. 

The writer regrets that his subject-matter was by 
agreement limited to a certain number of pages, and that 
he was compelled to condense much of it into abridged 

In ending the task of writing this, the first history of 
the city of Albany, I deem it a conscionable duty to 
pay a friend's tribute to the memory of Joel Munsell, 
deceased, the assiduous and painstaking compiler of the 
'^Annals of Albany "and the " Collections on the His- 
tory of Albany." His unrequited industry evidently 
merits a public memorial from the citizens. 

It is a pleasure to remember personal courtesies. 
To Henry A. Homes, LL. D., the librarian of the General 
Library of the State of New York, to his assistant, George 
Rogers Howell, to Stephen B. Griswold, the librarian 
of the Law Library, to Berthold Fernow, keeper of 
the French, Dutch, and English records in the State 
Library, to W. Bayard Van Rensselaer, Theodore Town- 
send, and J. H. Van Antwerp of Albany; to Horatio Sey- 


mour, LL. D,, ex-governor of the State of New York, 
of Deerfield, Oneida County; to Dr. T. M. Coan of New 
York City; to DeWitt Clinton, librarian of the Young 
Men's Association Library, and to William H. Young 
of Troy; I am under many obligations for official ser- 
vices and desired information. 

Arthur James Weise. 

Troy, N. Y., 
August 2, 1884. 




Discoveries and explorations. Giovanni da Verrazzano enters the bay of 
the Grande River. The French ascend the stream to its navigable 
height. Henry Hudson's voyage. The French chateau on Castle 
Island. Organization of the West India Company. . . 1-17 


Sailing of the Walloons and Dutch freemen to New Netherland. 
The site of the colony. Fort Orange. The Wilden. Van Kreicke- 
beek's partisanship. The patroons. The charter of exemptions and 
privileges. 18-30 


Kiliaen van Rensselaer. The territory of Rensselaerswyck. First set- 
■ tiers. Leases of land. Officers of the manor. The fur trade. Shell- 
money of the Indians. The patroon's instructions. . . 37-52 


The call of the Rev. Joannes Megapolensis, jr. Sketch of the Mohawk 
Indians. Father Jogues's captivity. Beeren Island fortified. The 
church at Fort Orange. Petrus Stuyvesant's directorship. " Wooden 
Leg's dogs." The burgerlijke oath. ..... 53-98 


The troubles at Fort Orange. The dorpe Beverswyck. The tapsters' 
excise. Erection of the block-house church. Persecution of the 
Lutherans. The armed Mohawks. The village palisaded. The 
boschloopers. Anneke Janse Bogardus's will. . . . 94-134 


New Netherland coveted by the English. Its territory given to the duke 
of York and Albany. Surrender of the Dutch. Governor NicoUs's 
orders. The fort and village of Albany. . . . 135-152 


The province regained by the Dutch. Willemstadt. Immunities granted 
to the patroon. The head-church. Fort Nassau. New Netherland 
surrendered to the English. ...... 153-158 





The village again named Albany. Indian hostilities. Militia laws. 
The Fuyck. Description of the place. The burghers. The house 
of peace. ... 159-183 


Manners and customs. Houses. Furniture. Occupations. Shops. Inns. 

Church-going. Festival days. Funerals. Marriages. . . 184-196 


Charter of the city. The municipal officers. Rules and regulations. 

French invasion. Military preparations. . . . 197-215 


A French project. The city to be attacked. Captain Bull's visit to Al- 
bany. Jacob Leisler's usurpation. The province disturbed. The 
massacre of the inhabitants of Schenectady. . . . 216-251 


Indian affairs. Albany described. Land taken from the Indians. Dic- 
tatorial power of royalty. The Five Nations. . . 252-269 


The building of the stone-fort. Fugitive slaves. Schaihtecogue land. 

Invasion of Canada. A missionary's letter. . . . 270-287 


Intemperance of the Indians. The trade of the frontier. Albany's 
geographical position. Another war with France. Description of 
the city 288-312 


The colonial congress. Military movements. The fur trade. Anglo- 
mania. 313-332 


The city's revenues. Fire precautions. A public whipper. Character 

istics of the people. Docks built. Masonic lodges. . 3:^3-353 




The revolution. The committee of superintendence and correspondence. 
Albany regiments. Reading of the Declaration of Independence. 
The invasion of Burgoyne. First meeting of the legislature in the 
city. Washington's visit. ...... 354-385 


The business of merchandizing. Stages. The opening of a theatre. 
A centennial celebration. A federal procession. The city described. 
Establishment of a bank. The trade of Albany. . . 386-423 


The capital of the state of New York. Erection of a public building. 
A large fire. A new state-house built. The first steamboat on the 
Hudson. Albany in 1813. 424-457 


The city's wealth and prosperity. Celebration of the opening of the Erie 
canal. The Mohawk and Hudson railroad. The public schools. 
The new capitol. .... ... 458-486 


Historical summary, 487-492 

Churches, 493-506 

Nev^spapers, 506-510 

Mayors, 610-511 

Banks, 511-512 

Changed names of streets, 512-513 

Census, 514 

Free and Accepted Masons, 513-514 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, .... 514 

Index, 515-520 





On a bright day near the end of April, 1524, a num- 
ber of aborigines fishing in the lower bay of New York 
descried a strange object floating toward them from the 
sea. Much excited by the apparition, the amazed savages 
rapidly rowed to the neighboring islands to apprise the 
inhabitants of the extraordinary spectacle. Hundreds of 
inquisitive, fascinated faces were soon turned toward the 
mysterious thing. At first a wild speculation assumed it 
to be an unknown aquatic monster, then a less fanciful 
one conjectured it to be a large house drifting in from 
the sea. The slowly moving body was closely watched 
by the wondering crowds. As it approached they saw 
that it was an immense boat, filled with people and pro- 
pelled by wind-expanded cloths hung before poles rising 
high above its curiously shaped hull. The novel craft 
having found a suitable riding-place in the spacious haven 
cast her anchor in the sight of the excited natives, who, 


with loud shouts of dehght, witnessed the first mooring 
of a European ship in this discovered roadstead. ^ 

The anchored vessel was the French ship, La Dau- 
phine, with a crew of fifty men, commanded by Giovanni 
da Verrazzano, an experienced navigator. Having been 
commissioned by Francis L, king of France^ to seek a 
western sea-route to India and to make discoveries of 
new lands, he had sailed from the port of Dieppe late in 
the year 1523. Verrazzano had descried, on the eleventh 
of March, 1524, {old style,) the coast of North America, 
on the thirty-fourth parallel of north latitude. He 
had afterward explored the coast southwardly for fifty 
leagues, and then had turned and sailed northwardly, 
frequently going ashore to survey the country and to ac- 
quaint himself with the habits of the friendly natives. 

Eager to learn whether the bay in which his ship was 
anchored were not a part of a navigable strait through 
which he might sail to Cathay, in Eastern Asia, Verraz- 
zano ordered the ship's boat to be manned, and began 'the 
first exploration of the mighty river that poured its flood 
into the bay through the channel now called the Narrows. 
The gazing savages, seeing the boat moving toward the 
upper bay, hastened with renewed exclamations of de- 
light to the nearest shores to inspect more closely the un- 
known visitors. Here, partly clad with barbaric dresses 
of skins, birds' feathers and decorative wampum, the 
dusky-colored aborigines, with frequent signs and various 
calls, manifested their friendliness toward the explorers, 
who, in mid-stream, rowed by them. 

Enteri]ig the upper bay of New York, described by 
the delighted navigator as a most beautiful lake formed 
by the descending waters of the great river, Verrazzano 

1 Fide The Rev. John Heckewelder's paper concerning an Indian tradi- 
tion of the first arrival of Europeans in New Vork Bay. Collection^ of the 
New York Historical Society. Second series, vol. i. pp, 11-74., 


perceived it to be an excellent harbor for the largest ves- 
sels, and the surrounding country an attractive region 
diversified by hills, in which he thought valuable min- 
erals might be found. Here the inquisitive Indians 
steered their canoes toward the boat, and, rowing around 
and about it, gazed at the fail- faces and Euro])ean dress 
of the strangers with the greatest c'uriosity and admira- 
tion. Suddenly a violent gale of wind from the direc- 
tion of the sea warned the circmnspect navigator of his 
remoteness from the Dauphine. and he ordered the boat 
to be rowed to the distant shi}), not a little displeased by 
the sudden termination of his ])leasurable ex})loration of 
the beautiful bay. 

On the i-eturn of the explorers to the ship her anchor 
was weighed and the Dauphine put to sea, sailing north- 
wardly as far as the fiftieth paraUel of north latitude, 
where she stood for France, and early in July arrived at 
the port of Dieppe. From this place, Verrazzano sent a 
letter to Francis I., dated on the eighth of the month, 
describing the New Land ''never before seen by men 
either in ancient or in modern times," which he had dis- 
covered and explored for more than eleven, hundred 
miles. ^ 

In consequence of these discoveries, the northern part 
of the continent, extending along the Atlantic Ocean from 
Florida to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was called by the 
French, La Nouvelle France (New France). The valu- 
able furs of the beaver, otter, marten, and other animals 
of the nev/ country inducted certain French capitalists, 
merchants, and ship-owners to send a number of vessels 
to diffei-ent i)arts of its coast to barter with the natives 

1 Parts of the coasts of Labrador, Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island, 
and Nova Scotia had been discovered and explored by the Cabots in 1497 
and 1498. Gaspar Cortereal, in 1500 and 1501 had inspected parts of the 
coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. 


for peltry. Some of these barques sailed to the beautiful 
bay discovered by Verrazzano, and explored the Grande 
River, as the Hudson was then called, to the height of 
its navigation. Here the friendly savages received the 
French fur- traders with a large-hearted hospitality, which 
greatly contributed to the success of the first ventures of 
these speculative Europeans. To enlarge and protect the 
exclusive traffic begun so advantageously with the abo- 
rigines of the different villages near the confluence of 
the two rivers, now known as the Mohawk and the Hud- 
son, the French undertook to build, about the year 1540, 
a fortified trading-house or castle on the long, low 
island, lying in the little bay, on the west side of the 
Grande River, near the site of the city of Albany. Unfor- 
tunately before the building was completed, the island 
was inundated by the flood of a great freshet. The 
partly erected walls of the chateau and the environing 
earthworks were so much damaged by the rushing water 
that they were never repaired by the French, nor was 
the island any longer deemed habitable by them. These 
trading ventures of the French to the Grande River, dur- 
ing the sixteenth century, made them well acquainted 
with the topographical features of the adjacent country. 
On many of the maps of La Nonvelle France made dur- 
ing this period the noble stream is plainly represented 
from Sandy Hook to its navigable limits. * 

The exploration of the Grande River by Henry Hudson 
in 1609, was suggested to the English navigator by infor- 
mation derived from published descriptions and maps of 
New France. It was confidently believed by many per- 
sons that in North America a navigable passage could be 
found through which vessels could pass to the Indian 
Ocean and sail to the Molucca or Spice Islands. Spain, 

1 About one hundred and seventy-five miles from the ocean. 


lerra Co\|rtc^\realiy 



England, Portugal, and France, in turn, had already sent 
their great sea-captains across the Atlantic to search for 
such a water-way to the East. Magellan, in 1 520, found 
the strait which now bears his name and through it the 
ships of Spain passed to the Moluccas. ^ Certain wealthy 
commercial companies in the United Netherlands, in the 
latter part of the sixteenth century, fitted out ships and 
sent them to explore the ice girdled ocean north of Europe 
for a navigable route to Asia. These perilous enterprises 
did not accomplish the purposes of the Dutch capitalists. 
Still the hope of finding a sea-path to the Orient stimu- 
lated other voyages of discovery in the same frigid field 
of the eastern hemisphere. 

An exploration of the Arctic Ocean, north of Novaya 
Zemlya, it was thought would result in the discovery of 
an open polar passage to Northern Asia, wheie a naviga- 
ble channel could be found by which vessels might sail 
southward into the interior of the continent. For the 
purpose of learning whether this conjecture were true 
the speculative managers of the Dutch East India Com- 
pany engaged Henry Hudson to command a vessel to be 
manned and equipped for the undertaking. ^ He set sail 
from Amsterdam, with a crew of twenty men, Dutch 
and English, on the twenty-fifth of March, 1609, (old 
style^) in the yacht, De Halve Maen, (The Half Moon,^ 
of forty lasts or about eighty tons burden. Leaving the 

1 Vid^ The discoveries of America to the year 1525, By Arthur James 
Weise. New York, 1884. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 

2 Hudson was unacquainted with the Dutch language, and he therefore 
employed Jodocus Hondius, a learned Hollander, to act as his interpreter in 
his conferences with the directors of the East India Company. Hondius as- 
sisted him in making the following contract with the Amsterdam chamber, 
to which instrument he and Hondius signed their names : 

"On this eighth of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand six 
hundred and nine, the directors of the East India Company of the chamber 
of Amsterdam, of the ten years' reckoning, of the one part, and Mr. Henry 
Hudson, Englishman, assisted by Jodocus Hondius, of the other part, have 


Texel, the English navigator steered northwardly, and, 
after doubling North Cape on the coast of Norway, stood 
for Novaya Zemlya. On this last course Hudson encount- 
ered a barrier of ice which compelled him to relinquish 
the purpose he had in view. Unwilling to return to Hol- 
land without making an attempt to reach India by sail- 
agreed in manner following, to wit : That the said directors shall in the 
first place equip a small vessel or yacht of about thirty lasts [about sixty tons] 
burden, with which, well provided with men, provisions and other necessa- 
ries, the aforenamed Hudson shall, about the first of April, sail, in order to 
search for a passage by the north, around by the north side of Novaya Zemlya, 
and shall continue thus along that parallel until he shall be able to sail south- 
ward to the latitude of sixty degrees. He shall obtain as much knowledge 
of the lands as can be done without any considerable loss of time, and if it 
be possible return immediately, in order to make a faithful report and rela- 
tion of his voyage to the directors, and to deliver over his journals, log-books 
and charts, together with an account of every thing whatsoever which shall 
happen to him during the voyage, without keeping any thing back ; for 
which said voyage the directors shall pay to the said Hudson, as well as for 
his owtfit for the said voyage as for the support of his wife and children, the 
sum of eight hundred guilders ; [about three hundred and twenty dollars ;] 
and, in case (which God prevent) he do not come back or arrive here- 
abouts within a year, the directors shall further pay to his wife two hundred 
guilders in cash ; and thereupon they shall not be further liable to him or 
his heirs, unless he shall either afterward or within the year arrive and have 
found the passage good and suitable for the company to use ; in which case 
the directors will reward the aforenamed Hudson for his dangers, trouble, 
and knowledge in their discretion, with which the before-mentioned Hudson 
is content. And in case the directors think proper to prosecute and con- 
tinue the same voyage, it is stipulated and agreed with the aforenamed 
Hudson, that he shall make his residence in this country with his wife and 
children, and shall enter into the employment of no other than the company, 
and this at the discretion of the directors, who also promise to make him 
satisfied and content for such further service in all justice and equity. All 
without fraud or evil intent. 

*' In witness of the truth, two contracts are made hereof, of the same 
tenor, and are subscribed by both parties and also by Jodocus Hondius, as 
interpreter and witness. 

*' Dated as above. *' Dirk van Os. 

*'J. Poppe. 
'* Henry Hudson. 
"Jodocus Hondius, 

*' witness." 

Vide Henry Hudson in Holland. By Henry C. Murphy. The Hague, 
1859. pp. 34-86. 


ing in a different direction, he gave his officers and crew 
the choice of two proposals : 

' ' The first was to go to the coast of America at the 
fortieth degree of latitude, mostly incited to this by 
letters and maps which a certain Captain Smith had sent 
him from Virginia, and in which he showed him a sea 
by which he might circumnavigate their southern colony 
[in Virginia] from the north, and from there pass into a 
western sea. The other proposal was to seek the pas- 
sage by Davis's Strait." ^ 

Hudson's men preferred to make the first voyage, 
partly influenced by what had been suggested in the 
communications of Captain John Smith, and partly by a 
desire to avoid the lower temperature of the more north- 
ern region of the continent. The so-called Western Sea, 
which it was thought Hudson could reach by sailing 
through some unexplored passage extending to it from 
the Grande River, is exhibited on the map of America 
made by Michael Locke, the Enghsh cartographer, in 
1582. 2 On this fan-shaped chart it is designated Mare de 
Verrazana 1524 (Sea of Verrazzano 1524). North of it 
the Grande River is represented as an outlet of the St. 
Lawrence River. ^ 

The Half Moon, having taken on board a supply of 
fresh water at the Faroe Islands, sailed westward toward 

1 Belgische ofte Nederlandsche oorlogen ende geschiedenissen begin- 
nende van 't jaer 1595 tot 1611, mede vervatende enighe gebueren handel- 
inghe. Beschreven door Emanuel van Meteren. Gedruckt op Schotlant 
buyten Danswyck by Hermes van Loven. 1611. boek xxx. fol. 32*7. 

2 Locke's map, dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney, was used by Richard 
Hakluyt, the English collector and publisher of voyages and travels, to illus- 
trate his work entitled : Divers voyages touching the discouerie of America. 
London, 1582. l^/de The discoveries of America to the year 1525. By Ar- 
thur James Weise. New York, 1884. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 

3 As late as the year 1625, the Dutch explorers of the Grande River were 
ignorant of its course beyond the height of its navigation. Joannes de Laet, 
the Dutch historian, remarks: " Judging from appearances, this river ex- 
tends to the great river St. Lawrence, or Canada, for our skippers assure us 


Newfoundland. On the third of July the yacht came 
among some French vessels taking cod on the fishing 
banks. Sailing southward, the explorers approached the 
peninsula of Virginia, ''in latitude 37° 45V' ^^ys Van 
Meteren, the Dutch historian, writing two years after the 
voyage. ^'They then held their course along the coast 
until they reached, in latitude 40° 45', a good entrance 
between two headlands. Here they discovered and 
entered, on the twelfth of September [1609, old style,^ as 
beautiful a river as could be found, very wide and deep, 
with good anchorage along both shores. They ascended 
it with their large vessel as high as 42° 40', and went 
still higher with the ship's boat. ^ At the mouth of 
the river they found the natives brave and warlike, but 
beyond, up to the highest point of the stream, friendly 
and hospitable, having great numbers of skins and furs, 
as those of martens and foxes, and many other commodi- 
ties, birds, fruits, and even white and blue grapes. They 
treated these people civilly and brought away a little of 
whatever they found among them.'' 

When the Half Moon, on the warm afternoon of the 
nineteenth of September, cast her anchor and swung with 
the tide, near the site of the city of Albany, the observ- 
ing Indians, well aware from their intercourse of nearly 
a century with the seamen of France what would be 
most acceptable to the officers and men on the strange 

that the natives come to the fort [Fort Orange, the site of Albany] from that 
river, and from Quebec and Tadoussac," — Nieuwe Wereldt ofte beschrijvinghe 
van West Indien. Door Joannes de Laet. Tot Leyden, 1625. boek iii. cap. 
Ix. Vide Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. i. p. 399. 

1 The Dudley Observatory in the city of Albany, about three-fourths of a 
mile north of the Capitol, is in 42° 39' 50" north latitude, and in 3" 15' 26" 
east longitude from Washington ; and in 73° 44' 49" west longitude from 

2 Belgische ofte Nederlantsche oorlogen ende geschiedenissen beginnen 
de van 't jaer 1595 tot 1611. boek xxx. fol. 327. Vide Henry Hudson in Hol- 
land by Henry C. Murphy, Appendix, pp. 62-65, 


vessel, hastily carried to their canoes clusters of wild 
grapes, a few pumpkins, some otter and beaver skins, and 
rowed to the yacht. Having reached her deck they 
readily bartered their commodities for beads, knives, 
hatchets, and other things. 

Hudson, desiring to know whether he could sail farther 
northward, sent his mate and four men the next day to 
take soundings. They went up the river two leagues 
and found the depth of the water to be two fathoms, and 
the channel very narrow. On the third day while the 
carpenter was on land making a fore-yard, Hudson in- 
vited several Indian chiefs to partake of some wine and 
strong liquor in the cabin of the Half Moon. These were 
freely imbibed by his guests and in a short time the In- 
dians were tipsy and one drunk. A merry chief had his 
wife with him, but she with womanly propriety de- 
meaned herself so modestly that her behavior was admir- 
ingly observed by Hudson and his officers. 

On the afternoon of the fourth day a delegation of 
Indians visited the vessel and presented Hudson with a 
quantity of tobacco and some wampum. One of the 
number made an oration, on the conclusion of which the 
savages placed a large platter of venison before the navi- 
gator who courteously eat a part of the cooked meat. 
The delighted Indians then bowed reverently before him 
and left the vessel. 

Late that night Hudson's mate and four of the crew 
returned from the upper part of the river where they had 
been during the day taking soundings. At the distance 
of about eight leagues from the vessel's anchorage they 
had found the water quite shallow and not deep enough 
for the draught of the Half Moon. This report satisfied 
Hudson that Captain John Smith's expectations of his 
finding a navigable passage to India in that direction 


were false, and he therefore determined to return to Hol- 
land. At noon on the ^twenty -third of September, the 
yacht's small anchor was weighed, and the Half Moon 
sailed down the river on the homeward voyage. On the 
fourth of October she left the lower- bay at Sandy Hook, 
and stood for England. On the seventh of November she 
arrived at Dartmouth, from which place Hudson sent 
the report of his voyage to the East India Company. ^ 
Giving little consideration to the English navigator's 
description of the physical features and chief productions 
of the country of the Grande River, the money-making 
managers zealously furthered the company's commer- 
cial interests in other parts of the world. 

Some of the Dutch seamen who had jnade the voy- 
age with Hudson wisely inferring that a venture to the 
Grande Eiver for furs would profitably remunerate those 
investing money in such an enterprise, advised certain 
merchants of Amsterdam to send a vessel to the river to 
procure a cargo of peltry. This advice induced a num- 
ber of capitalists to fit out a ship, which, in 1610, sailed 
to the river and obtained a large quantity of furs, which 
were sold in Holland at high prices. Several similar 
ventures were afterward made which were highly profit- 
ble in their returns. 

While trading with the ''Maquaas," ^ at the height 
of the river's navigation, the Dutchmen learned that the 
French had been coming for many years to traffic there 
for furs. Besides giving the Dutch traders this infoi'ma- 
tion the friendly aborigines showed them the ruins of the 
cJutteaii on Castle Island. The sagacious Hollanders, hav- 
ing inspected the dilapidated castle, took measurements 

1 Fic/i' Purchas his Pilgrimes. London, 1625. part iii. pp. 593, 594. Coll. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc. vol. i. pp. 139, 140. 

2 The " Maquaas " were also called " Maikans," and " Mahakuaas," by 
the Dutch. These Indians are more familiarly known as the Mohawks. 


of its walls and outworks, thinking, perhaps, that the 
structure might be made serviceable to them should they 
at any time occupy the counfcry. 

To obtain the hcense and protection of the govern- 
ment of the United Netherlands the merchants and skip- 
pers interested in these voyages petitioned the Lords States 
General to be permitted exclusively to visit and traffic 
with the natives of this part of America. In their prayer 
they set forth that after great expense, risk, loss of ves- 
sels and other reverses during the year 1614, they had 
discovered, with five ships, '' certain new lands situate 
in America, between New France and Virginia, being the 
sea-coast between the fortieth and forty-fifth parallels of 
north latitude, and now called Nieu Nederlandt (New 
Netherland)." ^ With this petition they presented an 
embellished map (caerte) representing the territory of 
Nieu Nederlandt. ^ Inconsideratel}^ the so-called discov- 

1 Nieuwe Wereldt. De Laet. boek. iii. cap. vii. Holland documents in 
the General Library of the State of New York. vol. i. pp. 39-46. Coll. N. Y. 
Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. i. p. 291. 

2 This highly elaborated map, in the General Library of the State of New 
York, in Albany, bears the inscription ; *' The original carte figurative, of 
which the above is an accurate fac-simile, was found on the 26th of June, 
1841, in the lokeUkas of the States General, in the royal archives at the 
Hague. It was annexed to the memorial presented to the States General, 
on the 18th August, 1616, by the 'Bewindhebbers van Nieuw Nederlandt,' pray- 
ing for a special octroy according to the placaat of 27 March, 1614 ; and is 
referred to in the memorial as shewing the extent of the discoveries made 
by schipper Cornells Hendricxx. of Munnikendam, in a small yacht of 8 
lasts burden, named the Onrust which the memoralists had caused to be 
built in New Netherland. Copie d'apih Vorighial par P. //. Loffelt. La 
I/aye. Juillet, 1841. The Hague, 27th July, 184T J. Romeyn Brodhead, 
agent of the State of New York." 

Although subscribing his name to this statement, Brodhead afterward 
wrote as follows: "I think, however, that it was actually prepared two 
years before, from the data furnished by Block immediately after his return 
to Holland, and that it was exhibited to their high mightinesses for the first 
time on the 11th of October, 1614. The charter granted on that day to the 
directors of New Netherland expressly refers to a ' Figurative map prepared 
{getransfigeert) by them, ' which described the sea-coasts between the fortieth 
and forty-fifth degrees of latitude. This the parchment map clearly does. 


erers of this part of New France inscribed the following 
information on the chart, immediately above the site of 
the city of Albany. ''But as far as one can understand 
from what the Maquaas [ Mohawks ] say and show, the 
French come with sloops as high up as to their country 
to trade with them. ^ 

The site of the ruins of the French chateau^ on Castle 
Island, which the Indians had shown the Dutch traders, 
was also represented on the map. They called the fortifi- 
cation Fort Nassau, in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau, 
the stadtholder of the United Provinces, and placed the 
following descriptive memoranda near it: ''Fort Nas- 
sau is fifty-eight feet wide between the walls in the quad- 
rangle ; the moat is eighteen feet wide."—'' The house in- 
side the fort is thirty -six feet long and twenty-six wide."^ 

The ignorance of the Dutch settlers of Albany re- 
specting the nationality of the builders of the fort on 
Castle Island gave currency to various conjectures. By 
some it was assumed that the Spaniards had built the 

It, moreover, defines New Netherland as lying between New France and 
Virginia, according to the description in the charter. The map was prob- 
ably presented a second time on the 18th of August, 1616, when the directors 
of New Netherland exhibited their memorial for a further charter, to which 
it was attached." — History of the State of New York. By John Romeyn 
Brodhead. New York, 1853. vol. i. Appendix. Note. p. 756. 

''This map" says Brodhead, "is undoubtedly one of the most interest- 
ing memorials we have. It is about three feet long, and shows very mi- 
nutely the course of the Hudson River from Manhattan to above Albany, as 
well as a portion of the seacoast ; and contains likewise curious notes and 
memoranda about the neighboring Indians, the work, perhaps, of one of the 
companions of Hudson, ^ -^ ^ made within five years of the discovery 
of our river, its fidelity of delineation is scarcely less remarkable than its 
high antiquity." — John Romeyn Brodhead's address before the New York 
Historical Society, Nov. 20, 1844. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. 1845. p. 16. 

1 " Ma so veic nieft /weft coniien i^erstaen ityt 7 se^-ge?i ende bediiyen van de 
Alaquaas so cornea de Frafi^oysen met sloupen tot hovem aen haer laiid met 
haerh{y handelen . ' ' 

2 ''Fort van Nassoureen is binnen de vallen ^8 voeten wydt in V vier- 
cant ; de gracht is zuydt j8 voeten.'' 

*"/ huijs is j6 voeten lanch en 26 wyt in 7 foT-ty 


castle. But this supposition did not seem plausible for 
there was no historical evidence that the Spaniards had 
ascended the river to the height of its navigation. The 
two Labadist missionaries, Jaspar Dankers and Peter 
Sluyter, visiting Albany, in 1680, speak of the ruins of 
the fort and of the conjecture concerning the people who 
built it : ''In the afternoon, [Sunday, Apri] 28, J we took 
a walk to an island, upon the end of which there is a fort, 
built, they say, by the Spaniards. That a fort has been 
there was evident from the earth thrown up, but it is 
is not to be supposed that the Spaniards came so far in- 
land to build forts, when there are no monuments of 
them to be seen down on the sea-coasts, where, however, 
the}^ have been according to the tradition of the Indi- 
ans." ^ 

The petition of the Dutch fur-traders was favorably 
considered by the Lords States General. They granted 
them, on the eleventh of October, HUtt, a special license 
to make four voyages to the country called by them 
Nieu Nederlandt, ''within the period of three years, 
to begin on the first day of January, 1015, or sooner." 
Having obtained the exclusive privilege to traffic with 
the natives of New Netherland, the company sent Hen- 
drik Corstiaenssen, ^ an experienced skipper of Amster- 
dam, in 1615, to Prince Maurice's River, {Riviere van den 
vorst Mauritius,) as the Grande or Hudson River was 

' Journal of a voya.a^e to New York and a tour in several of the American 
colonies in 1679 and 1680, by Jaspar Dankers and Peter Sluyter of Wiewerd, 
in Friesland. Translated from the original manuscript, in the Dutch lan- 
guage, for the Long Island Historical Society, by Henry C. Murphy. 
Memoirs of Long Island Hist. Soc. 1867. vol. i. p. 318. 

2 The terminations sc and sc/i were used b\ the Dutch as suffixes to the 
father's name to designate the child's relation. Thus Corstiaens^cf// signified 
the son of Corstiaens ; the son of Pieter ; ]3.nsen, the son of Jan ; 
Rutgerj-^";^ the son of Rutger ; Eve Albertj-^' Bratt, Eve, the daughter of 
Albert Bratt ; Anna Dirkj-^ van Vechten, Anna, the daughter of Dirk van 


designated on the map of 1614, with orders to occupy 
Castle Island and to repair the damaged walls of the 
French chateau. Having removed the debris, he rebuilt 
the dilapidated parts of the structure. A gariison of a 
dozen Dutch soldiers was then placed in it. To render 
Fort Nassau defensible against any attack of the Indians, 
two small cannons igotelhighen) and eleven stone swivel- 
guns, {steeri stucken,) used on ships, were put in position 
within the earthworks. ^ 

During the period of three years in which the company 
was privileged to trade with the natives of New Nether- 
land, the only known instance of any bad feeling mani- 
fested by the latter toward the Dutch, was on the return 
of a young savage, named Orson, from Holland, who 
had gone there with Adriaen Block, a Dutch navigator, 
' ' This exceedingly malignant wretch, " as he is designated 
by a contemporaneous Dutch historian, cherished a deep 
resentment toward Hendrik Corstiaenssen, and, at his 
first opportunity, shot the commander of Fort Nassau. 
However, before he got beyond the range of a bullet, he 
was made to pay the penalty of his blood-thirstiness. ^ 

Corstiaenssen 's subordinate officer, Jacob Elkens, was 
then placed in command of Fort Nassau. The latter 
remained in charge of the post until the spring of 1618, 
when a great freshet again inundated Castle Island, 
and injured the fort so much that it was abandoned by 
the Dutch, and never again occupied by them.^ When 
the exclusive trading privileges of the company ceased, 
in 1618, several vessels were permitted by the Lords 

1 Nieuwe Wereldt. De Laet. boek. iii. cap. vii. ix. Albany records, in 
the General Library of the State of New York. vol. xxiv. fol. 167. Coll. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. i. pp. 291, 299. 

2 Historische verhael door Nicolaes a Wassenaer. Amsterdam, 1621- 
1632. deel viii. fol. 85. Documentary history of New York. vol. iii. p. 26. 

3 Niewue Wereldt. De Laet. boek iii. cap. ix. Albany records, vol. 
xxiv. fol. 161. 


States General to be sent to the Mauritius River to ob- 
tain furs. 

The information which the fur traders carried to Hol- 
land concerning the salubrity of the climate of New 
Netherland, the fertility of its virgin soil, the numerous 
water-courses irrigating the country, the excellence of 
the growing timber, the abundance of fish in the streams, 
the great flocks of fowl, the vast number of wild animals, 
the profusion of good fruit, and the surprising friend- 
liness of the natives, inclined a number of the mhabi- 
tants of the Netherlands to think of emigrating to the 
attractive region. Among the first to express a desire to 
go as colonists to New Netherland was a body of Puritans 
from England, living in the city of Leyden. Speaking 
through their pastor, the Rev. John Robinson, they made 
known to some of the merchants formerly trading in 
New Netherland their willingness to remove to the new 
country, provided that they should be protected by the 
government of the Netherlands. The merchants to 
whom the application had been made, addressed a let- 
ter^ in February, J()20, to the prince of Orange and a 
memorial to the Lords States General, expressing the 
desire of the Puritans to become colonists of New Neth- 
erland and soliciting the privilege of transporting the lat- 
ter to the place selected, should their high mightinesses 
comply with the prayer of the petitioners. For some 
unknown reason the re(|uest was not gj-anted, and conse- 
quently it happened that another and a less inviting part 
of North America obtained the historical distinction of 
being settled by the Pmitans. ^ 

The remarkable prestige which the Dutch East India 
Company had acquired by its extensive commerce and 
extraordinary earnings now indu-ced a number of wealthy 

1 Hoi. doc. vol. i. fol. 94-98, 103. 


merchants of Holland to apply to the Lords States Gen- 
eral for the exclusive privilege of sailing and trafficking 
within the territorial limits of certain countries over 
which the government of the Netherlands had assumed 
jurisdiction. The charter incorporating the Dutch West 
India Company was given, on the third of June, 1621, 
under the great seal of the Lords States General. The 
exclusive privileges conferred by this instrument per- 
mitted the ships of the company to traffic on the coast 
and in the interior of Africa from the tropic of Cancer 
to the Cape of Good Hope, in America and the West 
Indies, for a term of twenty-four years, beginning the 
first day of July, 1621. To this corporation was granted 
the power to make contracts, engagements, and alliances 
with the rulers and people of the countries designated in 
the charter, to build forts, to appoint and discharge offi- 
cers, to advance the settlement of unoccupied territory, 
to enlarge the channels of commerce and to multiply the 
sources of revenue. 

The Lords States General required the company to 
communicate to them, from time to time, such contracts 
and alliances as it might make, and to inform them 
respecting the situation of all the fortresses and settle- 
ments erected by its agents. In the appointment of civil 
and military officers and in giving instructions to them, 
their high mightinesses were to be consulted, and all 
commissions of its officers were to be issued under the 
seal and authority of the Lords States General. If troops 
were needed their higb mightinesses were to furnish 
them, but they were to be paid and supported by the 
company. The chartei intrusted the government of the 
corporation to five chambers of managers. These cham- 
bers and the government of the Netherlands were repre- 
sented by a college of nineteen persons, of which nunjber 


eight were from the Amsterdam chamber, four from the 
Zeeland, two from the Maas, two from the North Hol- 
land, and two from the Friesland. The government had 
one representative. 

A commercial and colonization company invested with 
such extensive powers as were conferred on the incor- 
porators of the West India Company by this patent 
needed no little time for organization. Therefore its di- 
rectors were not prepared to prosecute the purposes of 
its incorporation with any noteworthy enterprise until 
the twenty-first of June, 162B, when the rules and regu- 
lations of the company were formally approved by the 
Lords States General. ^ 

1 Hoi. doc. vol. i. fol. 104-106. Groot placaat boek. vol. i. fol. 566. 




After perfecting their plans of colonization, the direc- 
tors of the West India Company had not long to wait for 
a desirable body of emigrants to accept the offers they 
had publicly made to all persons who might be induced 
to become settlers of the fertile regions of New Nether- 
land. For at this time there was living in Holland a 
large number of French protestants who had come from 
the Southern Belgic provinces of Hainault, Namur, Lux- 
emburg and Liege to escape the persecutions of the 
Spanish Inquisition. These people were called Walloons, 
and were highly esteemed by the Dutch on account of 
their probity and industry. ^ The departure of the Pu- 
ritans from Holland, in 1620, to settle in America, led a 
number of these French refugees to desire the same priv- 
ilege of emigrating to it. In order to obtain from the 
English government the necessary license, the Walloons 
addressed a petition to the British embassador at the 
Hague, dated the fifth of February, 1622, signed by Jose 
de Forest, praying that permission might b.e granted to 

1 The name originated with the Saxons who called all foreigners Wallens: 
" Saxones occupato regno Britannico^ qiwniavi lingua sua extraneum quevillbet 
Wallum vacant^ S:f gentes has sibi extraneas IVallenses vacant, df inde usque in 
hodietnum barhara nuncupatione &^ homines Wallenses, ^ terra Wallia vocita- 
tur'' — Descriptione Cambriae. Sylvester Giraldus. cap. vii, 



fifty or sixty families, embracing about three hundred 
persons, residing at Amsterdam, to settle in Virginia. ^ 
The directors of the West India Company, learning that 
the Walloons had preferred the request^ at once made 
known to the latter the particular advantages which 
they offered to emigrants becoming colonists of New 
Netherland.^ Persuaded that no better opportunity for 
obtaining so many material and political benefits would 
again favor their purposes and be so conducive to their 
welfare as settlers in a new country, they accepted the 
overtures of the company and began to make prepara- 
tions for leaving the Netherlands. 

The colonization of New Nether land evoked consider- 
able discussion in Holland, and a number of practical 
suggestions were published concerning the measures that 
should be taken by the directors of the West India Com- 
pany to promote the welfare of those emigrating to the 
new country. Wassenaer, the Dutch historian, writing 
at the time of the embarkation of the Walloons, remarks, 
that for the latter 'Ho go in safety it is first of all neces- 
sary that they be placed in a good, defensive position 
and be well provided with forts and arms for the Span- 
iard, [the king of Spain,] who claims all the country, will 
never allow any one to gain a possession there.'* "^ 

The ship, Nieu Nederlandt, of one hundred and thirty 
lasts burden, commanded by Cornelis Jacobsen May of 
Hoorn, with thirty families on board, sailed from Ams- 
terdam, at the beginning of March, 1624, for the Mauri- 
tius River. ^ The vessel took the usual route of ships 

1 London documents, vol. i, fol. 24. 

2 Hoi. doc. vol. i. fol. 118. 

3 Historische verhael. Wassenaer. deel. vi. fol. 147. Doc. hist. N. Y, 
vol. iii. p. 22. 

4 Although the writers who have quoted Wassenaer as their authority for 
their statements that the Nieu Nederlandt sailed in March le^S to the Mau- 
ritius River with the first colonists of New Netherland, they, as it will be 


sailing to New Netherland at this time. Proceeding first 
to the Canary Islands, off the west coast of Africa, to 
catch the trade-wind, she stood for the Bahamas. Pass- 
ing between the latter and the Bermuda Islands, she then 
followed the trend of the coast of the continent north- 
wardly as far as the Sandpunt, the low point of land 
now called Sandy Hook. 

The king of Spain contrary to general expectation 
did not take any steps to prevent the planting of the 
colony. Prance, however, sent a barque to the bay of the 
Grande River to forbid the West India Company taking 
possession of her territory. Consequently when the 
Dutch ship passed through the Narrows, May was much 
surprised to see a vessel, flying the flag of Prance, riding 
at anchor near the Dutch yacht^ the Mackerel, moored 
in the mouth of the river. ^ When he sought informa- 
tion concerning the presence of the barque. May was 
told that the French vessel had come there to plant 
monuments bearing the insignia of Prance and to assert 
that country's possession of this part of North America 
by right of discovery. An angry controversy ensued be- 
tween May and the French officer. The combative Hol- 
lander declared that the assertions of the Frenchman were 
only assumptions, and that the commission from their 
high mightinesses, the Lords States General, which he 
exhibited, substantially proved the title of the Dutch to 
the country. Not to be frustrated or further obstructed 
in carrying out his present commission by a prolongation 
of the vexatious controversy. May, Avith the assistance of 

seen by referring to Wassenaer, do not use his dates which are plainly 
printed on the margins of the pages of his valuable work. He gives 1624 
for the sailing of the vessel carrying the first emigrants to New Netherland. 
1 The Mackerel had sailed from Holland on the sixteenth of June, 1623, 
but did not arrive at the Mauritius River until the twelfth of December. She 
remained at the mouth of the river during the winter of 1623-24. 


the crew of the Mackerel, compelled the French officer 
to depart with his ship from the bay. ^ 

Rid of the disturbing presence of the Freacli vessel, 
May landed a number of emigrants on '* Mannatans '' 
Island, where now the city of New York is built. '^ The 
Nieu Nederlandt then ascended the river to the country 
of the Maquaas and Mahicans. ^ 

On the west bank of the river\ a short distance north 
of Castle Islaud, where a narrow, verdurous plain lay 
pleasantly sheltered by the westward hill, the little band 
of Walloons with a few Dutch freemen disembarked. 
In the warm sunlight of that serene May day of 1024, 

1 " The West India Company being chartered to navigate these rivers 
did not neglect so to do, but equipped in the spring [of 1621] a vessel of 180 
lasts, called the New Netherland, {Xien XedcrUvidt ghcnaemt^) whereof 
Cornells Jacobsen May of Hoorn, with 30 families, mostly Walloons, {jo 
fluysghesinnen 7neesi IVae/en,) to plant a colony there. They sailed in the 
beginning of March, and directing their course by the Canary Islands, 
steered toward the Wild Coast, and gained the west wind which luckily took 
them in the beginning of May into the river first called A'zo de Montagnes, 
now the river Mauritius, lying in 40i^ degrees. He found a Frenchman 
lying in the mouth of the river, who would erect the arms of the king of 
France there ; but the Hollanders would not permit him, opposing it by 
the commission from the Lords States General and the directors of the West 
India Company ; and in order not to be frustrated therein, with the assis- 
tance of those of the Mackerel, which lay above, they caused a yacht of 2 
guns to be manned, and convoyed the Frenchman out of the river." — His- 
torische verhael. Wassenaer. deel vii. fol. 11. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 23. 

2 Catelina Trico, an aged woman, born in Paris, in a deposition made 
by her on the fourteenth of February, 1684-5, said that she came to New 
Netherland "either in the year one thousand six hundred and twenty-three 
or twenty -fouer to the best of her remembrance." In another deposition, 
made the seventeenth of October, 1688, she said that she was one of the 
passengers of "ye first Ship yt came " to New Netherland, sent by the West 
India Company, and that " as soon as they came to Mannatans now called 
N : York they sent Two families & six men to harford River & Two 
families & 8 men to Delaware River and 8 men they left att N : Yorke to take 
Possession and ye Rest of ye Passengers went w th ye Ship up as farr as Al- 
bany." — Deed book, vii. New York colonial manuscripts, xxxv. Doc. hist. 
N. Y. vol. iii. pp. '6\, 32. 

3 The Maquaas or Mohawks inhabited the west bank of the Hudson 
River, near the confluence of the Mohawk River, and the country westward 
bordering the latter stream. The Mahicans or Mohegans dwelt on the east 
bank of the Hudson River. 


they began to explore with inquisitive eyes the green 
meadow where the hearth-stones of their new homes were 
to be laid. They drank with critical taste the water of 
the hill-side springs, and speculatively wandered over the 
old, uncultivated corn-fields of the savages. Looking 
across the slowly flowing river, they beheld the palis- 
aded village of the Mahicans with its peculiarly built 

The landing of the colonists having been seen by some 
of the Maquaas and Mahicans, the news of the arrival of 
the Dutch ship was soon known to both tribes. Large 
numbers of the Wilden ^ began to come on foot and in 
boats to the landing-place of the roving emigrants. The 
latter had now ample opportunity to observe their strange 
visitors. They saw the men were brawny-limbed, well- 
proportioned, and of a stature equal to their own. Their 
black eyes and white teeth were in striking contrast with 
the more disguised features of their beardless, dirty, 
dusky red faces, variously streaked with paint of differ- 
ent colors. Their jet-black hair, coarse and straight, was 
allowed by some to grow only on one side of their heads. 
Many of the warriors had only crown-locks decorated 
with large feathers of birds of prey. A number of 
fiercer mien had narrow growths of short, bristly hair, 
extending from the tops of their foreheads to the backs 
of their necks, with braided locks on each side. Their 
clothing was scanty, filthy, and rudely fashioned. Short, 
double aprons of skins covered their loins. Their bodies 
were loosely clad with the skins of deer, bear and other 
animals. Some wore mantles of turkey-feathers knit 
together with strings of skin. Their lower limbs and 
feet were incased in deer-skin leggins and moccasins. 

1 The Dutch name for the Indians. Wild, wild ; plural wilden, Wilde 
menschen, savages. 


The women accompanying them were better attired. 
Their hair was bomid in short rolls, about a hand long. 
A number wore head-bands ornamented with pieces of 
shells. The band confining their hair was fastened be- 
hind, over the roll, in a bow-knot. One or two had fine 
complexions, several were comely and attractive, and 
none were remarkably ugly. They were all clothed in 
dressed deer-skin garments, the lower borders of which, 
extending below their knees, were elaborately embroid- 
ered with wampum and strips of fur. With a womanly 
desire to be attractive, their necks and arms were encir- 
cled with barbaric ornaments and European trinketry. 
Their breasts were partly covered with the upper part of 
a soft, finely dressed deer-skin garment worn next to the 
skin. Their girdles were very prettily ornamented with 
wampum, as were also their leggins and moccasins. 
They also had various ornaments of metal, bone, and 
shell suspended from their ears. Very few of the Wilden, 
either the men or the women, were wholly clad in skins. 
Some had pieces of duffel-cloth thrown across their right 
shoulders and drawn about their bodies, the ends draping 
their lower limbs almost to their ankles. ^ 

Cornelis Jacobsen May, intrusted with the adminis- 
tration of the West India Company's affairs in New 
Netherland, soon summoned the colonists about him and 
assigned to them the quantities of land which they sev- 
erally were able to cultivate. Then began the humble 
house building. Small spaces of ground were cleared, 
holes dug, posts planted and spars split. The latter were 
then bound horizontally to the upright posts with withes, 

1 Beschrijvinge van Nieuw Nederlant door Adriaen van der Donck. Am- 
sterdam, 1656. pp. 52-54, 56-58. Description of New Netherland. Coll.N. Y. 
Hist. Soc. Second Series, vol. i. pp. 190, 191, 194, 195. 

Korte ontwerp van de Mahahuase Indianen in Nieuw Nederlandt. Be- 
schreven in 't jaer 1644. Door Johannem Megapolensem, juniorem. Coll. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second Series, vol. iii. p. 154. 


and over this frame- work large pieces of peeled bark 
were securely fastened. Arches of bark formed the roof 
of the hut ; clay, sod and stones the hearth and chimney. 
While the colonists were building their cabins, the men 
in the service of the West India Company were construct- 
ing, near the river, a small log-fort. Having removed 
their famihes and household goods from the ship into 
their bark-huts, the settlers with resolute hearts and 
active hands began to till the land assigned them. The 
weed-grown corn-fields of the Indians were digged and 
sown with wheat and rye. Clearing away the matted 
vines and brushwood on parts of the grassy plain, the 
colonists dug shallow holes, at short intervals, and cast 
in them a few grains of Indian corn, which they covered 
with the rich loam displaced by their broad hoes. The 
vegetable seeds brought from Holland were also planted 
in small patches which became the particular care of the 
active housewives. The warm summer's sun quickly 
germinated the seed in the fertile fields, and in a few 
months the rapidly ripening grain was ''almost as high 
as a man." Soon also upon the tables of the settlers 
appeared the productions of their gardens,— the first 
returns for their laborious cultivation of the virgin soil 
of New Netherland. 

The trapping season that began in December was now 
ended, and the Indians daily resorted to the little settle- 
ment bringing peltry to barter for European commodi- 
ties. The little fort of logs and earth was constructed 
and called Fort Orange, in honor of Maurice, the prince 
of Orange. ^ Daniel van Krieckebeck was appointed 

1 '' Een Fort met 4. punten Orangie ghenaemt opgeworpen en voltopt.'' — 
Historische verhael. Wassenaer. deel. vii. fol. ii. Doc. his. N. Y. vol. iii. 
pp. 23. 

The principality of Orange was on the east side of the river Rhone, in 
Southeastern France. Its territory was about twelve miles long and about 


commissary of the post. The Mackerel, having taken on 
board a cargo of furs, now sailed for Amsterdam, where, 
in August, she arrived with Director May's official com- 
munications, and letters from the colonists. ^ 

The gratifying reports brought from Fort Orange by 
the Mackerel, were, later in the year, more fully con- 
firmed by letters and messages carried to Holland by the 
Meu Nederlandt, which sailed from Fort Orange when 
^^the harvest was far advanced," taking as her cargo 
fifteen hundred beaver and five hundred otter-skins 
and other things, which, when sold, returned to the 
West India Company more than twenty-eight thousand 
guilders. ^ 

The settlers gave very laudatory accounts of New 
Netherland. Its agreeable climate, attractive scenery, 
and wonderful fertility were highly extolled by them. 
"We were greatly surprised," wrote one, ^^when we 
arrived in this country. Here we found beautiful rivers, 
bubbling streams flowing down into the valleys, pools of 
running water in the meadows, palatable fruits in the 
forests, strawberries, pigeon-berries, walnuts, and wild 
grapes. Acorns for feeding hogs are plentiful in the 
woods, as also is venison, and there are large fish in the 

nine wide. From the time of Charlemagne it has successively been in the 
possession of the houses of Giraud-Adhemar, Baux, Chalon, and Nassau. 

1 Catelina Trico, in her deposition, further related : "There were about 
18 families aboard who settled themselves att Albany & made a small fort, 
and as soon as they had built themselves some hutts of Bark : ye Mahikan- 
ders or River Indians, ye Maquase, Oneydes, Onnondages, Cayougas, & 
Sinnekes, wth ye Mahawawa or Ottawawawaes Indians came & made Cov- 
enants of friendship wth ye gd Arien Jorise there Commander Bringing 
him great Presents of Bever o^" oyf Peltry & desyred that they might come 
& have a Constant free Trade with them wch was concluded upon & ye sd na- 
tions come dayly with great multidus of Bever & traded them wth ye Chris- 
tians." — N. Y. colonial MSS. xxxv. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 31, 32. 

2 A guilder or florin having the value of twenty stivers was equal to 
about one shilling and ten pence sterling, or about forty cents of our money. 

Historisch verhael. Wassenaer. deel viii. fol. 185. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. 
iii. p. 25. 


rivers. The land is good for farming. Here is especially 
the liberty of coming and going without fear of the 
naked natives of the country. Had we cows, hogs, and 
other animals fit for food, (which we daily expect in the 
first ship,) we would not wish to return to Holland, for 
whatever we desire m the paradise of Holland is found 
here. If you will come here with your family, you will 
not regret it." ''This and similar letters," says Baudar- 
tius, a Dutch scholar, writing in 1624, '*^have roused and 
stimulated many to resolve to emigrate there with their 
families in the hope of being able to obtain a handsome 
livelihood, confidently believing that they will live there 
in luxury and ease, while here on the contrary they must 
earn their bread by the sweat of their brows." ^ 

The pros])erous beginning made by the colonists was 
regarded by the directors of the West India Company 
as presaging a still greater success of its colonization 
schemes. The cheering intelligence also created consider- 
able comment among the people of the United Provinces 
respecting the company's future policy in administering 
the affairs of New Netherland. The prospects of the two 
colonies on the North and South rivers, ^ as the Hudson 
and the Delaware were called by the Dutch, are thus ad- 
verted to by Wassenaer : ''These colonies have already 
a prosperous beginning, and it is hoped that they will not 
be neglected but be zealously sustained not only there 
but at the South River. For their growth and prosperity 
it is highly necessary that those persons sent out be well 
provided first of all wdth means of subsistence and de- 
fense, and as freemen that they be settled there on a free 
tenure so that all they work for and obtain be theirs to 

1 Gedenkwaardige geschiedenissen zo kerkelyke als wereldlyke, door 
Gulielmus Baudartius. Arnhem, 1624. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iv. p. 132. 

2 A number of colonists settled at the mouth of the Timmer kill, a creek 
flowing into the Delaware, a short distance below Camden, New Jersey. 


dispose of and sell as they may wish, and that he who is 
placed over them as a director shall act as their father 
not as their executioner, leading them with a gentle 
hand, for whoever rules them as a friend and associate 
will be beloved by them, for he who orders them as a 
superior will subvert and nullify every thing, yea, will 
excite against him the neighboring provinces to which 
they will fly. ' It is better to rule by love and friend- 
ship than by force.' " ^ 

During the fall and winter the colonists cleared other 
spaces of land for cultivation and built more commodi- 
ous and comfortable log-houses than the rude huts of 
bark in which they had first lived. They now had also 
opportunities to hunt and obtain game. Some also vis- 
ited the villages of the hospitable Maquaas and Mahi- 
cans. Many of the bark-houses of the savages were 
more than a hundred feet long, though seldom wider 
than twenty feet. To construct one, the Indians began 
by setting in the ground, in two straight rows, long 
hickory- poles stripped of their bark, placing the rows as 
far apart as the intended width of the house. Bending the 
poles inward they bound them together at their upper 
ends to form the arch of the roof. They then fastened 
long, narrow pieces of wood horizontally to these poles ; 
and for the covering of this frame- work they used the 
bark of ash, chestnut, birch, and of other trees, peeling it 
in pieces about six feet wide and as long as they could 
obtain it. These pieces they attached with withes to the 
frame- work, putting the smooth side of the bark inward, 
and leaving an opening about a foot wide at the crown 
of the roof for the escape of smoke ascending from the 
fires built along the middle of the house. They lapped 
the edges of the pieces of bark far enough over each 

1 Historische. verhael. Wassenaer. deel vii. fol. ii. Doc. hist. N. Y. 
vol. iii. p. 24. 


other so that the subsequent shrinking of the covering 
left no openings. These houses were moderately warm 
in winter. They were often occupied by ten, twelve, and 
even more families. The members of each family were 
allotted a particular space in them. " Sometimes more 
than a hundred persons dwelt in one of these long build- 

When fishing or hunting at great distances from their 
villages, the Wilden usually erected temporary huts of 
bark or skins. Their fortified or inclosed villages were 
generally built on steep hills near creeks and rivers, and 
on sites that were inaccessible except from the water-side. 
To render their villages defensible, the Wilden surrounded 
them with a double row of oak- palisades. They first 
laid several heavy logs closely together for foundation- 
pieces. On each side of these they planted strong palis- 
ades, the upper ends crossed and securely held together 
with withes. They further made the inclosing palisades 
difficult to be climbed over by placing between the crossed 
ends the trunks of trees and their branches. Inside these 
strongholds there were sometimes more than a hundred 
bark-houses. In less defensible situations the villages of 
the Wilden were not inclosed. ^ 

During the fall and winter the colonists had fre- 
quent opportunities to learn something of the habits of 
that remarkable rodent, the beaver, which made the site 
of Fort Orange a famous fur-emporium for several cen- 
turies. ^ They also observed the novel ways of trapping 

1 Beschrijvinge van Nieuw Nederlandt door Adriaen van der Donck. pp. 

s The dome-shaped lodges of the beaver were found mostly erected on 
the banks of deep streams, a short distance from the water's edge. The 
industrious animals in companies of four, two of each sex, began to con- 
struct their houses about the beginning of September, the work of building 
continuing through the fall until the ground was frozen. The structures 
erected by them were about five or six feet high, and the walls from two to 


these vigilant and timid animals by the Indians, and the 
manner in which the diligent hunters cured the peltry 
for traffic. 

While the Mauritius River, in winter, was frozen and 
the colony at Fort Orange isolated from the visitation of 
ships from Holland, the directors of the West India Corn- 
three feet thick, built of the trunks of small trees such as the maple, the 
birch and the poplar, gnawed in lengths of two or three feet. The inter- 
stices were filled with sticks and stones, cemented solidly together with clay, 
so as to be impenetrable to animals of prey. In the floor of each house 
was a hole for egress and ingress, the opening connected by an underground 
water-way with the bottom of the stream. 

Four old beavers, two males and two females, with their progenies of six 
or eight young, were found occupying a lodge. These houses were not con- 
tiguous but were constructed at different distances along the water-courses. 
The channels of shallow streams the beavers dammed to deepen the water 
so that it might not freeze to the bottom and prevent their escape from their 
lodges. The dams were built straight across the stream where the flow of 
the current was slow, but where it was swift the middle part of the dam was 
built convex, the centre projecting up the stream. 

Full-grown beavers measure from the tips of their noses to the ends of 
their tails from forty to fifty-five inches, and weigh from thirty to sixty 
pounds. Their tails are about ten inches long and about five inches broad, 
shaped like a paddle and covered with black, horny scales. Their senses 
of smell and hearing are acute but their vision is of small range. Their feet 
are bare and blackish, with strong, brown nails, and are webbed to the roots 
of the claws. Their upper and lower jaws have each two large, sharp in- 
cisor and eight molar teeth. 

When beavers build their lodges and dams they usually select trees that 
are not more than six inches in diameter, the trunks of which they gnaw 
around with their incisors, cutting spaces about five inches in width. When 
gnawed through, the ends of the severed wood closely resemble in shape the 
lower part of a child's top. Beavers generally find their timber near the 
place of building or up the stream, whence they float it to the selected site 
of the house or dam. The food of beavers is bark of such trees as the 
willow, poplar, and alder. The females commonly bear in the month of 
May, giving birth to two, three or four young. The beaver lives from twelve 
to fifteen years. 

Adriaen van der Donck, who lived at Fort Orange from the year 164 1 to 
16-16, and traded for years with the Indians, published in 16.56 the following 
description of the fur of the beaver and the use made of the pelt: "The 
beaver's skin is rough, but thickly set with fine fur of an ash-gray color, 
inclining to blue. The outward points also incline to a russet or brown 
color. From the fur of the beaver the best hats are made that are worn. 
They are called beavers or casioreums from the material of which they are 
made, and they are known at present by this name over all Europe. Out- 


pany took action in certain matters that might contri- 
bute to the welfare of the settlers and induce other per- 
sons to emigrate to New Netherland. They at the same 
time commissioned William Verhulst to succeed Cornells 
Jacobsen May as resident-director during the year 1625. 
Having registered the names of forty-five emigrants 
upon its books^ the company sent them with a consign- 
ment of agricultural implements and a number of horses 
and other cattle in the spring to New Netherland. 

The news of the continued prosperity of the colonists 
and of the peaceful relations existing between them and 
the Indians influenced so many people to emigrate to the 
Mauritius Eiver that the company determined to plant 
a colony on the island, where now is the city of New 
York. In 1626, the company purchased the island from 
the Indians for sixty guilders. ^ Pieter Minuit, the third 

side of the coat of fur many shining hairs appear, called wind-hairs, which 
are more properly winter-hairs, for they fall out in summer and appear again 
in winter. The outer coat is of a chestnut-brown color, the browner the 
color the better is the fur. Sometimes it will be a little reddish. 

"When hats are made of the fur, the rough hairs are pulled out, for they 
are useless. The skins are usually first sent to Russia, where they are highly 
valued for their outside shining hair, and on this their greatest recommenda^ 
tion depends with the Russians. The skins are used there for mantle- 
linings, and are also cut into strips for borders as we cut rabbit-skins. 
Therefore we call the same peltries. Whoever has there the most and the 
costliest fur-trimmings is considered a person of very high rank, as with us 
the finest stuffs, and gold and silver embroidery are regarded as the append- 
ages of the great. After the hairs have fallen out, or are worn, and the 
peltries become old and dirty and apparently useless, we get the article back 
and convert the fur into hats, before which it cannot be well used for this 
purpose, for unless the beaver has been worn and is greasy and dirty, it will 
not felt properly ; hence these old peltries are the most valuable. The coats 
which the Indians make of beaver-skins and which they have worn for a long 
time around their bodies until the skins have become foul with perspiration 
and grease are afterward used by the hatters and make the best hats." — 
Beschrijvinge van Nieuw Nederlandt door Adriaen van der Donck. pp. 82- 
89. Vide. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. i. pp. 190, 191, 194- 
19Y, 220-227. 

1 Historische verhael. deel xii. fol. 38, 39. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 
27, 29. Hoi. doc. vol. i. fol. 155. 


resident-director, having arrived on the fourth of May, 
made the island the seat of the government of New Neth- 
erland. The south point of the island v^as selected for 
the site of a fort, the ground-plan of w^hich was staked 
out by the company's engineer. Thirty bark-cabins were 
erected by the colonists near the rude fortification. The 
two comforters of the sick, (kranck-besoeckers,) Sebastian 
Jansen Crol and Jan Huyck, were the conductors of the 
religious services of the settlers on Sundays. The new 
settlement at Fort Amsterdam increased the population 
of New Netherland to "two hundred souls." ^ 

A number of the settlers at Fort Orange disliking the 
isolated and remote situation of the colony at the height 
of the river's navigation now removed to the lower set- 
tlement. Shortly afterward they were follow^ed by the 
other settlers with their families. The removal of the 
latter was caused by an indiscreet act of the commander 
of Fort Orange. 

The two tribes of Indians, the Maquaas and the Mahi- 
cans, made war upon each other. The palisaded village 
of the latter, on the east side of the river, was opposite 
the fort, and the colonists were the terrified witnesses of 
the horrors of Indian warfare. Van Krieckebeek, com- 
manding the small garrison of Fort Orange, having been 
solicited by the Mahicans or Mohegans to take part with 
them in an attack upon the Maquaas or Mohawks impru- 
dently consented. Taking with him six soldiers from 
the fort he went with a body of Mohegans to meet a 
party of Mohawks. When they had gone about a mile 
from the fort they suddenly came upon the Mohawks 
who repulsed them so valiantly that they were forced to 
retreat leaving many slain, the Dutch officer and three 
of his men being among the number. It is related that 

1 Historische verhael. deel xii. fol. 38. Doc. hist. N, Y. vol. iii. p. 28. 


*' among the latter was Tymen Bouwensen, whom [the 
Mohawks] devoured, after they had roasted him. The 
rest they burnt. The commander was buried with the 
other two by his side. Three escaped ; two Portuguese 
and a Hollander from Hoorn. One of the Portuguese 
was wounded by an arrow in the back while swimming. 
The Indians carried a leg and an arm home to be divided 
among their families, as a proof that they had conquered 
their enemies." ^ 

The horrifying details of this affair caused great con- 
sternation in the settlement, while the fear of the fort 
being attacked by the Mohawks in retaliation for Van 
Kreickebeek's partisanship increased the general feeling 
of insecurity. The terrified people were no little cheered 
a few days thereafter by the arrival of Pieter Barentsen, 
the chief fur trader of the West India Company, whose 
business it was to go from point to point to collect peltry 
from the Indians for shipment to Holland. He made it 
his mission to go at once to the Mohawks and learn at 
once what feelings of resentment they might have toward 
the Dutch. They frankly told him that they had never 
injured the Hollanders and asked why the latter had med- 
dled with them. Unable to ascertain anything respecting 
their intentions, Barentsen returned to Fort Orange and 
assumed the command of the sixteen men composing 
the garrison. Apprehensive that the revengeful Mo- 
hawks might be instigated to make a sudden descent 
upon the little settlement, he had the remaining eight 
families conveyed to Fort Amsterdam. The only per- 
sons left at the post were those of the garrison and twen- 
ty-five fur traders under Sebastiaen Jansen Crol, the 
new vice-director, {onder directeiir), ^ 

1 Historische verhael. deel xii. fol. 38. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 28. 
3 Historisch verhael. deel xii. fol. 38 ; deel xvi. fol. 13. Doc. hist. N. 
Y- vol. iii. p. 28. 


The hostilities between the Mohawks and the Mohe- 
gans continued through the year 1627. The Mohawks, 
who were greater in number, at last successfully assault- 
ed the palisaded village of the Mohegans, and finally, in 

1628, drove the few valorous survivors of the tribe to the 
Connecticut Eiver. ^ 

The West India Company finding that the coloniza- 
tion of New Netherland had been attended with consid- 
erable expense, which added nothing to its revenues, 
abandoned, in 1629, the undertaking of sending settlers 
to the Mauritius River with the expectation that its out- 
lays would in time be returned in profits arising from the 
exclusive sale of its commodities to the colonists and from 
the export-duties on grain and other produce which its 
ships carried to Holland. The directors of the company 
now agreed to favor another scheme by which it was 
believed an enriching revenue could be obtained. They 
decided to divide the country into manors to be granted 
to proprietary lords, called patroons or patrons of New 
Netherland. A charter of privileges and exemptions 
was therefore drafted and reported to the assembly of 
the nineteen representatives. On the seventh of June, 

1629, the body formally approved the new plan for the 
colonization of New Netherland, which was duly rati- 
fied by their high mightinesses, the Lords States Gen- 
eral, s In order to become a patroon it was required by 
the charter that the person so inclined should first notify 
the company that he intended to plant a colony in New 
Netherland, and then, within the space of four years 
immediately thereafter, settle upon the selected land 
fifty persons over fifteen years of age. He was permit- 
ted the choice of such land as he might deem suitable 
extending four Dutch or twelve English miles along one 

1 Historische verhael. deel xvi. fol. 18. Doc. [list. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 30. 


side of a navigable river, or two Dutch or six English 
miles along both sides of it, and so far back into the 
interior as the situation of the occupiers would admit. 
The land thus selected was not to be taken possession 
of until the Indian proprietors had been satisfied with 
a compensation for it. Each patroon was then to be 
granted the full possession and enjoyment of the land 
within the limits of his manor and the right to dispose 
of it by testament. The chief command and the lower 
jurisdiction of these estates were given to the patroons, 
and no person was allowed to fish, hunt, and own mills 
on them except such persons as the proprietors permitted. 
The patroons were privileged to sail and traffic along the 
coast of North America, from Florida to Newfoundland, 
provided their vessels returned with all the commodities 
to Fort Amsterdam and paid a duty of five per cent, on 
them to the agents of the West India Company before 
shipping them to Holland. Along the cost of New Neth- 
erland they were allowed to trade with such goods as 
they wished to dispose of, and to receive in return for 
them all kinds of merchandise ' ' except beavers, otters, 
minks, and all sorts of peltry, which trade " the company 
reserved to itself. Where the company had no fur col- 
lectors there the patroons were privileged to trade for 
peltry on the condition that they should pay to the com- 
pany '^one guilder for each merchantable beaver or otter- 
skin " obtained by them. The commodities brought from 
Holland in the company's ships for the colonies of the 
patroons were to be transported at certain rates ; goods 
carried by other vessels for them were dutiable to the 
company. The colonists of the patroons were to be ''free 
from customs, taxes, excises, imposts, or any other con- 
tributions for the space of ten years." But they were 
not "permitted to make any woolens, linen or cotton- 


cloth, nor to weave any other stuffs " in the new country 
''on pam of being banished, and as perjurers to be arbi- 
trarily punished." 

All judgments given by the courts of the patroons, 
exceeding the sum of fifty guilders, (about twenty dol- 
lars) had an appeal to the director and council of New 
Netherland. A colonist entering the service of a patroon 
was not permitted to leave it or to engage in that of 
another unless a consent in writing was first obtained 
from the patroon having control of the person desiring 
to make the change. The West India Company promised 
to do everything in its power to apprehend any colonist 
breaking his contract of service and to deliver him into 
the hands of his patroon or of the latter's attorney to be 
proceeded against according to the laws of the Nether- 
lands. The patroons were to appoint deputies whose duty 
it should be to furnish information to the director and 
council of New Netherland concerning all things relating 
to their colonies, and at least once in twelve months, 
to make reports of their condition to the company. The 
patroons and the colonists were, as soon as it was prac- 
ticable, to find out ways and means whereby they might 
support a minister and school-master that the service of 
God and zeal for religion might not grow cold and be neg- 
lected. The patroons were also enjoined to procure a com- 
forter of the sick for the settlers as soon as they planted 
a colony. The company promised to provide the colonists 
with as many negroes as it conveniently could on con- 
ditions thereafter to be made. Such private persons as 
on their own account or others in the service of masters 
in Holland, who should be inclined to emigrate to New 
Netherland, were, with the approbation of the director 
and council at Fort Amsterdam, privileged to take up as 
much land as they were able to improve and were granted 


the right to enjoy the same in full property either for 
themselves or their masters. ^ 

This charter seemingly a brief summary of well-de- 
fined franchises clearly mirrors the real object contem- 
plated by the self-interested projectors of the instrument. 
Its honoring conditions of proprietorship were devised to 
entice wealthy men to risk capital in a speculative scheme 
that might be attended with irreparable ] osses. With spe- 
cious promises of freedom from taxation it was planned 
to induce poor men to place themselves in bonds of 
servitude and to submit to the arbitrary laws of rigorous 
masters. Its prohibitions were the suggestions of ava- 
rice and its privileges were only granted to those who 
were deemed able to fulfill all the pledges of tribute which 
it exacted. It was to subserve the selfish purposes of a 
greedy monopoly which failed to hide its mercenary fea- 
tures behind a thin mask of philanthropy. In a distant 
country removed from public observation and censure 
this instrument commissioned men to lay anew the foun- 
dations of feudalism and to fetter human freedom with 
the shackles of serfdom. The charter was published in 
1630, and the pamphlets containing it were widely circu- 
lated through Holland. ^ 

1 Historische verhael, deel xviii. fol. 94. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second 
Series, vol. i. pp. 369-37^7. 

2 The pamphlet has this title : ' ' Vryheden by de Vergaderinghe van de 
Negenthiene van de Geoctroyeerde West-Indische Compagnie vejgunt aen alien 
den ghenen, die eenighe Colonien in Nieuzu Nederlandt sullen planten. In het 
licht ghegheven. Om bekentre maken 7vat Profijten ende Voordeelen aldaer in 
Nieu Nederlandt, 7wor de Coloniers ende der selver Patroonen ende Meesters, tnidts- 
gaders de Participanien, die de Colonien aldaer planten, zijti bekomen. [£n- 
gramngl. IVest indjett karz sijn Nederlands, groot geivin. Verkley nf szdja^tds 
Macht brifigt silver-platen in 7~" Amstelredam. Voor Marten yansz Brandt, 
boeckverkooper, woo n ende by de nieitivekerck, in de Gereformerde Catechisinus. 
Anno idjo.'' 



1 680-^1641. 

Among the first persons to make known to the West 
India Company their intention to plant colonies in New 
Netherland was Kiliaen van Rensselaer,^ a wealthy di- 
rector of the Amsterdam chamber,, who, for many years 
had been a dealer in diamonds and pearls in that city. - 
The authority to settle a colony on such land as he should 
select was formally conferred on him, on the nineteenth 
of November, 1629.^ He then sent instructions to Sebas- 
tiaen Jansen Crol, at Fort Orange, to purchase for him a 
tract of land from the Indians, sufficient in extent for 
the settlement of a colony. Crol at once made the neces- 
sary overtures to certain Indians possessing land near 
the fort. The Indians, on the eighteenth day of April, 
1680, conveyed to Van Rensselaer the tract of land called 
Sanckhagag, on the west side of the river, extending 

1 Kiliaen or Kelyaen van Rensselaer was the son of Hendrik and Maria 
(nee Pafraats) van Rensselaer. His first wife was Hellegonda van Bylet, 
by whom he had one son, Johannes, who married his cousin, Elizabeth van 
Twiller. In 1627, Kiliaen van Rensselaer married Anna van Wely, by 
whom he had eight children: 1. Maria; 2. Jeremias, who married Maria, 
daughter of Oloff Stevensen van Cortland ; 3. Hellegonda ; 4. Jan Baptiste, 
who married Suzanna van Wely ; 5. Eleonora ; 6. Suzanna, who married Jan 
de la Court; 7. Nicolaas, who married Alida Schuyler; and 8. Rykert, who 
married Anna van Beaumont. MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

2 Korte historiael door D. David Pietersz de Vries. Hoorn, 1655. fol. 162. 
•^ MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Protest of Nicholas Coorn. ' 



from a point above Beeren Island to a point opposite 
Smack Island, in breadth ''two days' journey inland." ^ 

Meanwhile Kiliaen van Eensselaer actively exerted 
himself to obtain the quota of people which the West 
India Company required to be settled the first year on 
the selected land. With practical sagacity he had maps 
made that attractively represented the lands he had se- 
lected on the North River for his colony. ^ His judicious 
advertisements induced a number of persons to accept 
the proposals he offered them as settlers of his manor, and 
these set sail, on the twenty -first of March, 1630, from 
Holland, in the Unity, commanded by Jan Brouwer. '^ 
Having arrived at Fort Amsterdam on the twenty-fourth 
of May, the ship ascended the river to Fort Orange, 
where Commander Crol sent the settlers to the land 
which he had recently purchased for their occupancy. 

The patroon desired another tract of land and empow- 
ered Gillis Hossett to purchase it. This commission he 
executed on the twenty-seventh of July, 1631, and ob- 
tained from the Indians a piece of land extending along 
the west side of the river, from Fort Orange northward 
to a point ''a little south of Moenemines castle." ^ At 

1 Beeren Island is eleven miles south of Albany and was called by the 
Dutch Beeren Eylandt, Bears Island ; beer, a bear, beeren, bears. The small 
bay between it and the west bank of the river was early known as Onwee Ree 
(Old Harbor). Smack Island is north of Beeren Island. 

MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Book of patents. G. G. p. *.). 

3 In the book of accounts of Rensselaerswyck, under the date of Febru- 
ary 8, 1630, is the following entry in Dutch : "To Gillis van Schendel for 
one map on parchment, and four ditto on paper, of the islands and other 
tillable lands, {bouzulanden,) in my colony, to be sent there for their use, (> 
Rix dollars." — MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

•^ Among the number of emigrants were Wolfert Gerrittsen, the farm- 
overseer, (opper-bouwmeester,) Brant Peelen from Nieukerk, a farm-laborer, 
(bouw-knecht,) Rutger and Seger Heindricksen from Soest. — MSS. of Rens- 

4= '*Monemins Casteel" represented on the map of Rensselaerswyck, was 
seemingly on Haver Island, between the third and fourth branches of the 
Mohawk River, south of Waterford. 


the same time he purchased the tract called Gesmessert, 
lying on the east side of the river, opposite Castle Island, 
extending "from Petanock, the Molen kill, northward 
to Negagonse, in extent about three [Dutch miles]." ^ 

In order to advance more rapidly the growth of the 
colony, Kiliaen van Rensselaer formed a limited partner- 
ship with Samuel Godyn, Johannes de Laet, and Samuel 
Blommaert, three influential members of the Amsterdam 
chamber of the West India Company. ^ To give greater 
publicity to the advantages to be obtained by persons be- 
coming colonists of Rensselaerswijk or Rensselaerswyck, ^ 
new maps of the estate were drafted and other advertise- 
ments made of the fertility of its farms and the produc- 
tions of the new country. Not only were the several 
tracts of land invitingly displayed upon these maps but 
representations of towns were also delineated on them, 
bearing the names of the manorial co-partners. Notes 
containing information concerning game were also in- 
scribed on these maps. ^ 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Book of patents. G. G. p. 4 

- MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Hoi. doc. vol. v. fol. 298. Albany records. 
vol. vii. fol. 72, 78. Korte historial. De Vries. p. 162. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. 
Second series, vol. iii. p. 89. 

'■^ IVijk or 7oyck, noun feminine, refuge, parish, ward, district, manor. 
Anglo-Saxon ivic, a port, village. In all original Dutch words the letters 
// are used instead of y. In Dutch compound words formed of two nouns 
either the two remain unchanged, or the first noun takes an s or an e as 
Renssclaeis-ioyck Rensselaer-manor ; krrkebiirt, crturch-neighborhood. 

+ "Opposite Fort Orange, on the south point of De Laet's Island are 
many birds to be shot, geese, swans, and cranes. Turkeys frequent the 
woods. Deer and other game are also there ; also wolves but not larger 
than dogs. On De Laet's Island are many tall and straight trees suitable for 
making oars. Fat and excellent venison can be obtained in large quanti- 
ties from the Maquaas, principally in the winter ; three, four, or five hands 
of wampum for a deer. Deer would be exchanged readily for milk or butter. 
Deermeat is well suited for smoking and pickling." 

" In the fourth kill are pike and all kinds of fish. Here the sturgeon are 
smaller than at the Manathans [the island on which New York is built.] 
One can be bought from the Wilden for a knife." P'^tde Map of Renssel- 


The exclusive privilege of the West India Company 
to trade for peltry with the Indians of New Netherland 
was, in April, 1633, boldly infringed upon by some Eng- 
lish merchants of London, who sent a ship to the Hudson 
River to obtain a cargo of furs. They had taken into 
their employment Jacob Elkens, who earlier in the cen- 
tury had command of Fort Nassau on Castle Island. 
While in the service of the West India Company he had 
won the confidence and the good- will of all the tribes of 
the northern territory of New Netherland, and was there- 
fore well-suited to carry out the instructions of his Eng- 
lish employers. 

The sight of a strange ship, flying the British flag, ap- 
proaching unannounced the wharf at Fort Orange caused 
considerable excitement in the little fortification. Eager 
to know what object had brought the English vessel to 
the height of the river's navigation, Hans Jorissen Hou- 
ten, commanding the garrison, sent an oflicer to the 
English ship to obtain information concerning her pres- 
ence in this part of New Netherland. When he learned 
that she had come there to traffic for furs and that her 
officer claimed that the surrounding territory belonged to 
Great Britain, he immediately ordered Captain Trevor to 
depart from the river with his ship, and forbade him to 
trespass upon the commercial privileges of the incorpo- 
rated body of Dutch capitalists. ^ As if complying with 
the command of Captain Houten, the English seaman 
departed with his ship. However, as soon as he was out 
of sight of the gazing garrison, he ran his vessel close to 
the west bank of the river and there cast anchor. Un- 
der Elkens's superintendence a tent was pitched on the 
shore and an assortment of English goods was conspicu- 

^ The English claim to the territory of New Netherland was based on 
the discoveries of the Cabots in 1497 and 1498, and on the grant given in 
1584 to Sir Walter Raleigh by Queen Elizabeth. 


ously displayed in it. The Mohawks, learning that their 
old friend Elkens had come again to trade with them 
repaired in large numbers to the tent, carrying with 
them their packs of beaver and otter-skins. The fur- 
traders of the West India Company heard these facts 
with no little astonishment. Having then no means to 
eject the invaders, the Dutch traders erected a tent near 
the one occupied by Elkens and became the eager com- 
petitors of the zealous factoi^ for the furs of the Indians. 
To induce the Wilden to barter with them, they loudly 
disparaged the value of the English goods and trucked 
their cloths and wares at lower rates. Exasperated by 
this opposition, Elkens then took advantage of their pres- 
ence by sending a shallop up and down the river to col 
lect furs from those Indians who had been intimidated 
by the Hollanders from visiting his tent. One day the 
shallop ventured too near Fort Orange, and fell into the 
hands of Commander Houten. Sticking green boughs 
about her, he and a number of the soldiers of the garri- 
son sailed in the captured vessel to the place where 
the Euglish were trafficking with the Indians. Here he 
found three vessels and a body of soldiers sent from Fort 
Amsterdam by Director Van Twiller ^ to seize the £hig- 
lish vessel. Deaf to the protestations of Elkens, who 
loudly declared that he had the right to trade on soil be- 
longing to Great Britain, the Dutch soldiers carried the 
Enghsh goods on board the British ship and then pulled 
down the lent of the enraged factor. To add to the dis- 
grace of the Enghsh, it is said that the elated trumpeter 
of Fort Orange loudly blew his instrument while the 
ejectment of the interlopers was in progress. It is fur- 
ther related that some of the excited Hollanders beat 
several of the Indians who had come to trade with El- 

1 Pieter Minuit sailed for Holland in March, ]6i^2. Wouter van Twiller 
arrived at Fort Amsterdam in April, 1633. 


kens. The English ship was taken to Fort Amsterdam, 
where she was detained a short time by Director Van 
Twiller, and then permitted to return to England. When 
she arrived at London, the English merchants presented 
to the embassadors from the Netherlands a formal com- 
plaint of the ill-treatment their agents had received on 
British territory at the hands of the Dutch, and de- 
manded the payment of damages for the losses they 
had sustained. The Dutch government answered these 
charges by affirming that the English had no right to 
trade within the limits of New Netherland ; alleging that 
the river and the adjoining country were discovered by 
Henry Hudson at the expense of the East India Com- 
pany in 1^)09, ''before any Christians had been there, as 
was certified by Hudson;" and that ''the West India 
Company had commanded, possessed, and cultivated the 
country from the beginning of its charter, and had car- 
ried on trade there, without any person having with rea- 
son questioned " its piivilege ' ' or sought to destroy its 
trade by force, except some prohibited traders " and Jacob 
Elkens. Besides giving emphasis to these declarations, 
it was added that the West India Company ''had suf- 
fered special loss;" that "the injurious seed of discord 
had been sown" between the Indians and the Dutch, 
who previously had lived with each other in friendship ; 
and that "other serious njischiefs" had resulted from El- 
kens's visit, such as "the killing ot* men and of cattle." ^ 

One of the most noticeable consequences of this affair 
was the special attention given to the welfare of the per- 
sons employed at Fort Orange to collect furs by the West 
India Company. Through Director Van Twiller orders 
were given to Dirck Cornelis Van Wensveen to erect 
Avithin the fortification '^a handsome large house with a 

1 Holland doc. vol. ii. fol. 51-88 ; 140-143, 196. 


flat roof and lattice- work, and eight small dwellings for 
the people." ^ 

The extensive territory of Rensselaerswyck had as yet 
few settlers. ^ Each year, however, increased the num- 
ber of its inhabitants. Many of these early pioneers, 
whose patient toil transformed the wilderness of the Up- 
per Hudson into palisaded fields of waving wheat and 
wide acres of tasseled maize, dwelt at first in temporary 
huts, the construction of which is tJms described by a 
Dutch writer: '^ They dig a square pit in the ground, 
cellar -fashion, six or seven feet deep, and as long and as 
wide as they think proper. They case the earth inside 
with wood all around the wall, and line the wood with 
the bark of trees or something else to prevent the caving 
in of the earth. They floor* this cellar with plank and 
clapboard it overhead for a ceiling, run a roof of spars 

1 Albany records, vol. i. fol. 86. 

3 In 1630 the following names of persons, residing at Fort Orange and 
in Rensselaer's manor are recorded in the books of monthly wages and the 
manuscripts of Rensselaerswyck : Wolfert Gerritsen, Rutger Hendricksen 
van Soest, Seger Hendricksen van Soest, Brandt Peelen van Nieukerke, 
Simon Dircksen Pos, Jan Tyssen, Andries Carstenssen, Laurens Lau- 
renssen, Barent Tomassen, Arendt van Curler, Jacob Jansen Stol, Martin 
Gerrittsen van Bergen, Claes Arissen, Roeloff Jansen van Maesterlandt, 
Claes Claessen, Jacques Spierinck, Jacob Govertsen, Raynert Harmensen, 
Bastiaen Jansen Krol, Albert Andriessen Bradt. 

In 1631 : Maryn Adriaensen van Veere, Thomas Witsent, Gerrit Teu- 
nissen de Reus, Cornells Teunissen van Westbroek, Cornelis Teunissen 
van Breukelen, Johan Tiers, Jasper Ferlyn, Gerrit Willem Oasterum, Cor 
nelis Maessen van Buren Maassen, Cornelis Teunissen Bos. 

In 1634: Jan Labbadie, Robert Hendricksen, Adriaen Gerritsen, Lu- 
bert Gysbertsen, Jan Jacobsen, Jacob Albertzen Planck, Joris Houten, Jan 
Jansen Dam. 

In 1635 : Jan Terssen van Franiker, Juriaen Bylvelt, Jan Cornelissen, 
Johannes Verbeeck. 

In 1636 : Barent Pieterse Koyemans, Pieter Cornelissen van Munnich- 
endam, Dirck Jansen van Edam, Mauritz Janssen, Arent Andriessen van 
Frederickstad, Michel Jansen, Jacob Jansen van Amsterdam, Simon Wal- 
ings van der Belt, Gysbert Claessen van Amsterdam, Hans Zevenhuyzen, 
Cristen Cristysscn Noorman van Vlecburg, Adriaen Hubertsen, Rynier Ty- 
manssen van P^dam, Tys Barentsen Schoonmaker van Edam, Tomas Jan- 
sen van Bunick, Cornelis Tomassen, Arent Steveniersen, Johan Latyn van 


clear up and covei' the spars with bark or green sods so 
that they can hve dry and warm in these hoiises with 
their famihes for two, three, and four years. '-" '^ '" ''" 
The wealthy and principal men in New England in the 
beginning of the colonies constructed their first dwelling 
houses in this fashion for two reasons. First, in order 
not to w^aste time in building and not to stand in want 
of food the next season ; second, in order not to discour- 
age the poorer laboring people whom they brought oyer in 
numbers from Fatherland. In the course of three or four 
years, when the country became more cultivated^ they 
built themselves handsome houses, spending on them 
several thousand dollars.'' ^ 

Verduym, Claes Jansen van Nykerk, Rutger Jacobsen van Schoenderwoerdt 
Ryckert Rutgersen. 

In 1637 : Jan Michaelsen van Edam, Pieter Nicolaussen van Nordinge, 
Teunis Cornelissen van Vechten, Burger Joris, Jan Ryersen, Abraham 
Stevensen, Cornells Teunlssen van Merkerk, Goosen Gerrltsen van Schalck, 
Willem Juriaensen Bakker. 

In 1688 : Jan Dircksen van Amersfoort, Gerrit Hendrlcksen, Wybrant 
Pletersen, WlUem Meynten, Cornells Leendertsen, Francis AUertsen, Mar- 
tin Hendrlcksen van Hamelwaard, Roeloff Cornelissen van Houten, Adrl- 
aen Berghoorn, Volckert Jansen, Hendrlck Fredrlcksen, Jacob Jansen Nos- 
trandt, Chrlstoffel Davits, Claes Jansen Ruyter, Jacob Plodder, Gysbert 
Adriensen van Bunick, Teunis Dircksen van Vechten. 

In 1639 : Jacob Adriaensen van Utrecht, Ryer Stoffelsen, Cryn Corne- 
lissen, Adam Roelantsen van Hamelwaard, Sander Leendertsen Glen, Pieter 
Jacobsen, Johan Poog, Gilles Barentsen, Cornells Spiernick, Claes Jansen 
van Breda, Claes Tyssen. 

In 1640: Nys Jacobsen, Jannitje Teunlssen, Jan Teunlssen, Teunis 
Jacobsen van Schoenderwordt, Andrles Hubertsen Constapel van der Blaes, 
Andries de Vos, Adrlaen Teunlssen van der Belt, Jan Creynen, Jan Jansen 
van Rotterdam, Jacob Jansen van Campen, Cornells Kryne van Houtten, 
Jan Cornelissen van Houten, Claes Gerrltsen. 

In 1641 . Adriaen van der Donck, Cornells Antonlssen van Slyck, Claes 
Gysbertsen, Wolfertsen, Teunis de Metselaer, Joris Borrelingen, Claes Jan- 
sen van Ruth, Cornells Cornelissen van Schoonderwoerdt. — MSS. of Rens- 

The Dutch preposition van means of, from, or by ; van Frederickstad 
/. <?., of or from Frederickstad. 

1 Information relative to taking up land in New Netherland. By Cornells 
van Tlenhoven. 1650. Hoi. doc. vol. v. fol. 145, 146. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. 
iv. p. 31. 


The first farm placed under cultivation by the patroon 
in 1630 was in charge of Wolfert Gerrittsen, the prin- 
cipal farm-master {opper-boiiwmeester), who was paid 
twenty guilders or eight dollars a month for his service 
besides his board. A farm-hand {bouw-knecht\ re- 
ceived from twenty-five to one hundred and twenty 
guilders or from ten to forty-eight dollars a year as wages 
in addition to his board. Colonists without capital, be- 
fore leaving Holland, were often furnished by the patroon 
with clothing and money, for which they were to pay 
him thereafter a stipulated quantity of produce or a cer- 
tain sum of money or a specified length of wampum. The 
first settlers erected on the land assigned them temporary 
huts, in which they dwelt until the houses built at the 
expense of the patroon were ready for occupation. The 
latter stocked these farms with horses and other cattle, 
and also provided his tenantry with agricultural imple- 
ments. A farm and its buildings were sometimes leased 
at an annual rent of three hundred guilders, (about one 
hundred and twenty dollars,) sometimes for five hundred 
guilders, (about two hundred dollars,) payable in mer- 
chantable beaver-skins, produce, money or zeewan. The 
lessees were required to give annually to the patroon the 
tenths of all the grain, fruit, and other productions of the 
cultivated land, and also one-half of the increase of the 
cattle. It was often stipulated that lessees were to per- 
form each year for the patroon certain kinds of labor, as 
cutting in the forests a number of pieces of wood and 
conveying them to the bank of the riv^er, and to give him 
one or more days' service with their horses and wagons. 
Several bushels of wheat, a number of pounds of butter, 
and a few fat fowls for a quit-rent were also commonly 
demanded of the colonists renting farms. When settlers 
erected farm-buildings at their own expense, these fre- 


quently reverted to the patroon in lieu of rent. The 
lessees were bound under oath not to lodge any unlicensed 
traders in their houses nor to receive their goods on pain 
of forfeiting all the rights granted by the patroon. When 
any question arose between lessees, the matter in dispute 
was to be submitted to the court of the manor without 
any appeal or further complaint respecting the decision 
rendered. Lessees were to submit themselves as faithful 
subjects to all the regulations, orders, and conditions 
made by the patroon and to those thereafter made by 
him. The patroon had the right of purchasing before all 
other persons the grain and cattle of his tenants and also 
other property belonging to them. When a colonist died 
intestate, his property in the wyck reverted to the pat- 
roon. The settlers were required to take their grain to 
the patroon's mill to be ground, which he was to keep in 
repair for their accommodation. 

The president and council of Eensselaerswyck were 
empowered to execute the laws of the civil code, to en- 
force the enactments of the Lords States General, the 
ordinances of the West India Company and of the di- 
rector and council of New Netherland, and the rules and 
regulations of the manor. Two magistrates or justices 
{gerechts-persoonen)^ and the commissary -general formed 
the court of the manor. The other officers were the 
sheriff {schout), and a hangman {scherprechter). ^ 

In order to possess an extent of land on the east side 
of the river equal to that which he had purchased on the 
west side, the patroon instructed Jacob Albertzsen Planck^ 
the first sheriff of Eensselaerswyck, to buy from the In- 
dians the tract called Papsickenekas, extending south- 
ward from a point opposite Castle Island to a point 
opposite Smack Island. This additional land^ pur- 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

XOVJS. B E t G^ I C A|five :Nr I E XT T\r 

— isi^^^^!^ 



"^ 7 n Inn/-' Orcynbos 


t ^ 1^3^ E D^ E R 

d'OndcRet W 


'lofMavsooTTS ~f . 

^77/ JLl a. 


^JCaesSy^»»t^ 5* ^ iv&orariedks 

. ^ 'Sckicbte 


^^FpM PiS-l^i^r;! 

1 *..£5^2. Sankicaiis 

/-INJaratxcoiis /j^^^^3 


chased on the thirtieth of April, 1H37, made Kihaeii 
van Rensselaer and his co-partners the patroons of 
a manor about twenty-one miles long and forty-six 
wide, containing more than six hundred thousand 
acres of land, at present included within the limits of 
the counties of Albany and Rensselaer.^ 

No people of the nations of Europe were more ac- 
quisitive than those of Holland. To obtain soil for culti- 
vation they took from the sea the low land of their once 
inundated country and inclosed it with massive barriers 
of sand and stone. With marts and manufactures they 
drew to the ports of the United Prov^inces the merchant- 
men of Europe. Their monopolies vexed the neighboring 
nations. They sailed all seas in quest of wealth. They 
received usury from royal borrowers. To get property 
and to increase their possessions was the quickening 
thought that animated the energies of the diligent in- 
habitants of Holland. This love of gain prompted the 
patroons of New Netherland to claim the right to trade 
for furs within the limits of their manors. Forthwith 
the West India Company filed a protest with the Lords 
States General calling the government's attention to the 
fact that the charter of privileges and exemptions of 
1 029 expressly reserved the traffic in all kinds of peltry 
to the corporation. The sp€^.cial immunity of the West 
India Company being ignored by the patroons, the colo- 
nists in turn began to trade clandestinely with the 
Indians and afterward openly. When William Kieft 
succeeded Wouter van T wilier as director of the com- 
pany's affairs, in 1638, the agents of the patroons and 
the colonists were actively competing with one another 
in the lucrative fur trade. ^ 

1 Willem Kieft arrived at Fort Amsterdam, March 28, 1G38. 

2 Book of patents. GG. pp. 13-16; 24-26. MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 
Map of Rensselaer's manor, 1767. 


In April, 1639, the Dutch navigator, David Pietersen 
de Vries, visited Fort Orange. The short account of his 
sojourn on Castle Island with Brandt Peelan, although 
marred by an unwarranted reflection respecting the 
patroon and his co-partners, furnishes several note- 
worthy incidents belonging to the early history of 
Rensselaerswyck. He says : ''On the twenty- eighth we 
arrived at Beeren Island, where many Indians were 
fishing. '' - - ''' In the evening we reached Brand- 
pylen's Island, that lies a little below Fort Orange and 
belongs to the patroons, Godyn, Ronselaer, Jan de Laet, 
and Bloemart, who had also more farms there which 
they had put in good condition at the company's cost, 
for the company had sent cattle from Fatherland at 
great expense, and these mdividuals, being the commis- 
sioners of New Netherland, had made a good distribution 
1 of them] among themselves, and while the company had 
nothing but afi empty fort, they had the farms and trade 
ai'ound it, and each farmer was a trader. ''' ^ ^^ *''* 

' ' While I was at Fort Orange, on the thirtieth of 
April, there was such a high flood at the island on which 
Brand-pylen lived, who was my host at this time, that 
we were compelled to leave it and to go with boats into 
the house where there were four feet of water. This 
freshet continued three days before we could use the 
dwelling again. The water ran into the fort, and we 
were obliged to repair to the woods, where we erected 
tents and kindled large tires." ^ 

Several appeals made to the Lords States Greneral to 
decide the matters in dispute between the West India 
Company and the patroons obtained, in 1640, the ap- 
proval of a new charter of privileges and exemptions. 

1 Korte historiael. fol. 152. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. 
iii. pp. 89-91. 


Among the articles of this instrument was the provision 
allowing all patroons, free colonists, and inhabitants of 
New Netherland the privilege of selling goods brought 
from Holland by the payment of a duty of ten per cent, 
on their first cost to the West India Company. Another 
provision permitted the inhabitants to trade for peltries, 
but an export duty of ten per cent, in cash was required 
to be paid to the director and council of New Netherland 
upon all furs sent to Holland. Persons shipping com- 
modities from New Netherland were first obliged to pro- 
cure a permit and then to bind themselves to send them 
to the company's stores in Holland. The prohibition on 
the manufacture of woolen, linen and cotton cloth in the 
new country was removed. Whoever should convey a 
colony of five adult persons to New Netherland was en- 
titled to receive a tract of two hundred acres of land, 
with the privilege of hunting and fishing in the public 
forests and streams. " No other relig:ion was to be pub- 
licly tolerated or allowed in New Netherland except that 
which was then taught and made a rule of practice by 
authority in the Eeformed Church in the United Prov- 
inces." The company renewed its pledge to provide the 
colonists ''with as many negroes as possible." The juris- 
diction of the patroons was not abridged. An appeal 
from the manor-courts could be made to the director and 
council of New Netherland when the amount in dispute 
exceeded the sum of forty dollars, and from all judgments 
in criminal cases as in the Netherlands.^ 

The liberty of trafficking for furs was soon abused 
by the settlers. Some thinking that an opportunity was 
now afforded them to make their fortunes personally 
frequented the Indian villages and trucked for peltry. 
Others invited the Indians to their houses, admitted them 

1 Hoi. doc. vol. ii. fol. 234, 235, 239-262. 


to their tables, placed napkins before them, gave them 
wine, and bestowed upon them the most obsequious at- 
tentions, which, it is said, the Indians, in time, looked 
upon ''as their due and desert," and that when these 
civilities were not paid them they manifested great dis- 
pleasure. Some of the colonists of Rensselaerswyck, 
perceiving that the Mohawks wanted guns and were will- 
ing to pay twenty beavers for each piece, and as much as 
twelve guilders for a pound of powder, sold fire-arms and 
ammunition to them, from which large profits were real- 
ized. These private transactions were soon known to the 
traders coming from Holland to the height of the river's 
navigation, and they from time to time brought from the 
Netherlands guns, powder, and lead which they traded 
for peltry with the Mohawks. The four hundred war- 
riors of this tribe soon became expert in the use of these 
death-dealing weapons, achieving ' ' many profitable for- 
ays " in Canada, and making ' ' the surrounding Indians, 
even as far as the sea-coast," to whom previously the Mo- 
hawks had in like manner been subject, pay them tribute. 
The Indians whom the Mohawks had humbled into sub- 
mission now became eager to possess guns and ammuni- 
tion in order to release themselves from the degrading 
domination of the latter. Death being the published 
penalty for furnishing the Indians with fire-arms, the 
settlers of the lower colony, at Fort Amsterdam, could 
not be induced to provide the importuning Wilden with 
the desired weapons. The refusal of their daily requests 
affronted the Indians of this part of New Netherland, 
who called the colonists " materiooty,^^ (cowards,) and 
saying that the Dutch might '' be of some importance on 
water but were of no account on land," that as a people 
they "had neither a great sachem nor any chiefs." ^ 

1 Journael van Nieu Nederlant. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 7, 8. 


Wampum, the shell-money of the Indians, was now 
counterfeited by some avaricious Hollanders, whose "ill- 
made, rough zeewan " lessened the circulation of the 
more valuable article made by the Wilden. The Indians 
made it by shaping small pieces of the shells of such 
testaceous fishes as the periwinkle, cockle and mussel 
into cylindrical beads, about a quarter of an inch long, 
perforated lengthwise like a pipe- stem. These were 
strung on strings and woven together into strips, some 
as broad as a man's hand and of different lengths. As 
money, the black or dark-purple beads were rated at 
double the value of the white ones. Not only was wam- 
pum used as money by the Indians, l3ut they also highly 
prized it as a decoration, wearing it around their necks 
and arms, and attaching it to their clothing. They also 
gave it as a pledge for the fulfillment of their compacts 
and as a significant token of their good-will, when about 
to engage in conferences of any special importance. For 
a long time four beads of Indian wampum had the cur- 
rent value of a stiver (about two cents) in New Nether- 
land. The baser zeewan made by the Dutch threatening 
'Hhe ruin of the country," a law was enacted by the 
director-general and council of New Netherland, by v/hich 
six of the inferior beads were declared the equivalent of 
a stiver. ^ 

Arendt van Curler, who, in 1630, had been appointed 
assistant commissary of Rensselaerswyck, was now 
commissary-general of the manor. In the fall of 1641 
Adriaen van der Donck, a graduate of the university of 
Leyden, Holland, assumed the duties of the sellout -flscaal 
or attorney -general of the colony. This officer, before 
sailing to New Netherland, was instructed by Kiliaen 
van Eensselaer to prosecute a number of farmers on his 

lAlbany records, vol. ii. fol. 108-111, 118-119. Hoi. doc. vol. v. fol. ;i60. 


manor who were hiring laborers not in the service of the 
patroon, which transactions the latter declared tended 
greatly to his injury, "to the downfall of the colony, the 
transgression of his ordinances," and were ''directly con- 
trary to their promises and sealed contracts." These of- 
fenders and other transgressors were to be brought by the 
attorney-general before the officers of the patroon, and 
action was to be taken against them, in order that they 
might be punished " by penalties and fines, conformably 
to law." 1 

1 MSB. of Rensselaerswyck. 




Kiliaeii van Eensselaer was peculiarly qualified for 
the duties of his patroonship. He was self-reliant and 
practical, wealthy and ambitious. E[is plans for the set- 
tlement of his colony and his measures for the welfare of 
his people evince the sound judgment and the executive 
ability which gave his acts no little prominence in the 
history of New Netherland. He built comfortable houses 
and ample barns for his tenants ; provided them with 
agricultural implements and live-stock ; erected saw and 
grist-mills at convenient places on the larger water-cour- 
ses of the manor ; and supplied his store with suitable 
goods to meet the common wants of the colonists. 

The number of inhabitants of Rensselaerswyck had 
become so large in 164-2 that the patroon willingly com- 
plied with the requirements of the West India Company 
to secure for the settlers the sei'vices of a clei'gyman of 
the Reformed Church. He requested the classis of Am- 
sterdam to provide the people of the manor with a "good, 
honest, and pure preacher." The Reverend Doctor Joan- 
nes Megapolensis, junior, the pastor (jf the congregation 
of Schorel and Berg, belonging to the classis of Alkmaar, 
was selected. This clergyman formally accepted his call 

1 From keik, church, and buurt^ neighborhood. 



to the .new field of pastoral labor, on the sixth of March, 
1642. ^ One of its conditions was that he was to serve 
the patroon six years and to receive an annual salary of 
one thousand guilders, (four hundred dollars,) the first 
three years, so that he and his family should be ''able to 
maintain themselves honorably and not be necessitated 
to have recourse to any other means, either farming, 
trading, cattle-rearing or such like, except the diligent 
performance of his duties for the edification of the in- 
habitants and Indians.'- This salary was to be paid in 
''meat, drink, and whatever he might claim," one-half 
in Holland, the other in New Netherland, at the current 
prices. He was also to receive a yearly donation of thirty 
schepels ( twenty -two and a half bushels ) of wheat, and 
two firkins of butter, or sixty guilders. If his services 
should be satisfactory to the patroon, it was further stip- 
ulated that the latter was to give him annually, for the 
last three years, two hundred guilders additional salary. 
The patroon besides giving the clergyman a present of 
three hundred guilders before he embarked for New 
Netherland, also agreed that he and his family should 
not be at any expense for food while making the voyage, 
and that his salary should begin on the day of his arrival 
at Fort Orange. 2 On the twenty-second of March, the 
classis of Amsterdam duly accredited him "to preach 
God's word in the colony " of Eensselaerswyck, ''in con- 

1 The acceptance of the call was attested, in Amsterdam, by Adam 
Bessels, a co-partner of the patroon, the Rev. jacobus Laurentius and 
Petrus Vvittewrongel, ministers of the Reformed Church. 

2 In the agreement it is stated that the Rev. Dr. Megapolensis was 
thirty-nine years old, that his wife, Machtelt, was forty-two years of age, 
that their children, Hellegond, Dirrick, Jan, and Samuel, were respectively, 
aged fourteen, twelve, ten, and eight years. The clergyman was the son of 
the Rev. Joannes Megapolensis, pastor of the church at Coedyck, Holland, 
and ot Hellegond Jansen. He married his cousin, Machtelt Willemsen, 
daughter of Willem Steengs, or Heengs. — Albany records, vol. v. fol. 323, 
339. MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 


formity with the government, confession and catechism 
of the Netherland churches and the synodal acts of Dord- 
recht." The Amsterdam chamber of the West India 
Company demanded that the credentials of the Reverend 
Doctor Megapolensis should be submitted to it for approv- 
al, claiming that the commiission granted him by the 
classis of Amfjfterdam was not valid without its attesta- 
tion and sanction. This prerogative Kiliaen van Ren- 
sselaer was unwilhng to concede to the company. How- 
ever, as the vessel to convey the clergyman and his 
family to New Netherland was ready to sail, the patroon 
waived his objections to the company's approval of the 
document in a written protest. Having formally ex- 
amined the paper, the directors of the Amsterdam cham- 
ber gave it their indorsement on the sixth of June. 

The ship, De Hotittuyu, then sailed for New Nether- 
land, having as her passengers, the clergyman and his 
family, Abraham Staes, surgeon, Evert Pels, brewer, 
and his wife, Hendrick Albertsen and his wife, and four- 
teen other emigrants. ^ These colonists arrived at Fort 
Orange on the thirteenth of August. Arendt van Curler 
as instructed by the patroon, provided the minister and 
his family with lodging and boarding until he could 
build a suitable house for them. Fearing that the colonists 
of his manor, living, as they did, at wide intervals from 
one another, might, at some time, fall victims to savage 
treachery and revenge, as had been the lot of some of 
the settlers near Fort Amsterdam, the patroon determined 
to have them dwell in the neighborhood of the church, 
which he intended to build near the walls of Fort Orange. 
He therefore made a small map of the proposed church- 
vicinage, designating the place for the site of the church, 

I Among these were Cornelis Lamberssen, Jochim Ketlelhuer, Johan 
Helms, Johan Carsterssen, Jeuriach Bestvaell, Claes Jansen, Paulus Jansen 
Hans Vos, and jurien van Sleswyck. — MSS. of Rensselaerswvck. 


the parsonage, the manor-house and the dweUings of the 
traders and mechanics. This plan he showed to Abraham 
Staes and Evert Pels before they sailed from Amsterdam, 
who promised to build their houses on the sites designated 
by the patroon. The ferry established between the east 
and west banks of the river was given in charge of 
Hendrick Albertsen, who built a ferry-house on the north 
side of the Bever kill, ^ flowing into the Hudson, where 
now is the eastern terminus of Arch Street. The patroon's 
directions respecting these matters were conveyed to 
Commissary Van Curler in memoranda given to the Rev. 
Dr. Megapolensis, on the third of June. Hendrick 
Albertsen, the patroon writes, ' ' has been treating with 
me for the place of ferryman, fixing his dwelling by the 
Bever kill, in order to convey the people to the church- 
neighborhood and back again from it. As the church, 
the minister's house, that of the officer, and also all 
those of the trades-people must hereafter be established 
there, as Abraham Staes and Evert Pels, the brewer, 
have undertaken, I am entirely willing, and consent 
that, with the exception of the farmers and tobacco- 
planters, who must reside on their farms and plantations, 
no tradesmen, henceforth and after the expiration of 
their service, shall establish themselves elsewhere than 
in the church-neighborhood in the order and according to 
the plan of building sent herewith ; for every one residing 
where he thinks fit, separated far from the others, would 
be unfortunately in danger of their lives, in the same 
manner, as sorrowful experience has taught around the 
Manhattans. Concerning these matters the commissary, 
Arendt van Curler, shall give notice to all persons, being 
called together, so that they may regulate themselves 

1 The Bever kill was early called the First kill. The stream is now 
known as Buttermilk creek. 


The patroon's commissary, in obedience to the in- 
structions given him, contracted '^for the building of a 
house for Domine Megapolensis which should be ready 
precisely at Christmas." The contractors, however, were 
dilatory, and it was not until November that they were 
ready to begin building. Then Van Curler thinking that 
it would be unwise to permit the work to proceed so late 
in the season, and '"that the house would cause great 
expense in meat and drink, and the work not be ad- 
vanced," broke the contract. Fortunately, at this time 
Maryn Adriaensen van Veere offered to sell to the disap- 
pointed commissary a newly-built ''house of oak-wood, 
all ready, cross casings, door casings, all of oak." The 
domine was consulted, who, after examining the build- 
ing, concluded that it was better adapted to his wants 
than the one to be erected for him. Thereupon Van 
Curler purchased it for three hundred and fifty guilders, 
or ony hundred and forty dollars. ^ 

In order to preach to the Indians Domine Megapolen- 
sis began to study their peculiar language. In his short 
sketch of the Mohawk Indians, written in 1644, he tells 
of the many perplexities which embarrassed him in ac- 
quiring a knowledge of the Mohawk tongue.^ He calls 
the Mohawks, Mahakinbas and Mahakuaas, or as they 
denominated themselves, Kajingahciga. The Mohegans 
he calls Mahakans, or as they were designated in the In- 
dian language, Agotzagena. ' ' The Mohawks are divided 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerwyck, 

2 Korte ontwerp van de Mahakuase Indianen in Nieuw Nederlandt, haer 
landt, stature, dracht, manieren, en magistraten ; beschreven in 't jaer 
1644 ; door Johannem Megapolensem, juniorem, predikant aldaer. Amster- 
dam. Bij Joost Hartgers, bookverkooper op den dam. Anno 1651. 

A short sketch of the Mohawk Indians in New Netherland, their land, 
stature, dress, manners and magistrates, written in the year 1644, by Johan- 
nes Megapolensis, junior, minister there. Amsterdam. By Joost Hartgers 
bookseller, at the dam. Year 1651. Vide Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second 
series, vol. viii. pp. 137-160. 


into three tribes, called Ochkari, Anaware, Oknaho, the 
bear, the tortoise, and the wolf. Of these, the tortoise is 
the greatest and most eminent, and the members of it 
boast that they are the oldest. ^' ^' "- These have 
made a fort of palisades, and they call their castle 
Asserue. ^ Those of the bear tribe are next to these, and 
their castle is called by them Banagiro. The last are the 
descendants of these, and their castle is called Thenon- 

1 *'The Maquaes have four touns, vizt Cahaniaga, Canagora, Cona- 

jorha, Tionondogue, besides one small village about IJO miles from Albany. 

" Cahaniaga is double stockadoed round, has four ports, about four foott 

wide a piece, conteyns about 24 houses, & is situate upon the edge of an 

Hill, about a bow shott from the river side. 

"Canagora is only singly stockadoed, has four ports like the former, 
conteyns about 16 houses ; itt is situated upon a fflatt, a stones throw from 
ye water side. 

" Conajorha is also singly stockadoed, and ye like manr of Ports and 
quantity of houses as Canagora, ye like situacon, only about two miles 
distant from the water. 

"Tionondogue is double stockadoed round, has four Ports, four foott wide, 
a piece, contains about thirty houses, is scituated on a hill a Bow shott from 
ye River. 

"The small village is withoutt ffence, & conteyns about ten houses, 
lyes close by ye river side, on ye north side, as do all ye former. 

"The Maques passe in all for aboutt 300 fighting men. ^ * * 

" The Onyades have butt one towne, which lys aboutt 180 miles westward 
of ye Maques, itt is situate aboutt 20 miles from a small river which comes 
out of ye hills to ye southward and runs into the Lake Teshirogue [Oneida 
Lake,] and aboutt 30 miles distant from the Maques river, which lyes to 
ye northward ; the towne is newly settled, double stockadoed. "^ "'^ ^' 
The towne consists of aboutt 100 houses, they are said to have aboutt 200 
fighting men. ^- * * 

"The Onondagos have but one towne butt itt is very large consisting of 
about 140 houses, nott fenced, is situate upon a hill thatt is very large, the 
Banke on each side extending itt selfe att least two miles. ^ ^ ^ They 
have likewise a small village about two miles beyound thatt, consisting of 
about 24 houses. They ly to the Southward of ye west, about 86 miles from 
the Onyades. *-?«•* The Onondagos are said to be about 350 fighting 
men. * * * 

" The Caiougas have three townes about a mile distant from each other, 
they are not stockadoed, they doe in all consist of about 100 houses, they ly 
about 60 miles to the Southward of ye Onondagos. * ^ * They passe 
for about 300 fighting men. * -^ ^ 

"The Senecques have four towns, vizt Canagora, Tiotohatton, Canoen- 
ada and Keint-he ; Canagaroh and Tiotohatton lye within 30 miles of ye lake 


diogo. Each of these tribes carries the animal after which 
it is called (as its ensign) when it goes to war. ^ ^ * -«• 
"These two nations [the Mohawks and the Mohegans] 
have different languages that have no affinity with 
each other, as the Dutch and the Latin. These people 
formerly carried on a great war against each other, but 
since the Mahakanders were subdued by the Mahakobaas, 
a peace has existed between them, and the conquered 
are obliged to bring an annual contribution to the other. 
We live auiong the people of each tribe of these Indians, 
who, coming to us from their country or we going to 
them, manifest by many acts a great friendship for us. 
The principal nation of all the savages and Indians in 
this neighborhood with which we are acquainted, are the 
Mahakuaas, who have laid all the other Indians near us 
under contribution. This nation has a very heavy lan- 
guage, and I find great difficulty in learning it so as to 

flrontenacque [Lake Ontario,] and ye other two ly about four or five miles 
apiece to ye southward of these. « * * None of their towns are 

'* Canagorah lyes on the top of a great hill. * * * Contayning 150 
houses ; Northwestward of Caiougo 72 miles. * * -5^ Tiotehatton which 
signifies bending, itt lyes to Westward of Canagorah about 30 miles, con- 
tains about 120 houses. * "^ "^ 

" Canoenda lyes about four miles to ye Southward of Canagorah, con- 
teys about 80 houses. '^ '^ * Keint-he lyes aboutt four or five miles to 
ye Southward of Tiotehatton, contayns about 24 houses. * * * "Yhe 
Senecques are counted to bee in all aboutt 1<»00 fighting men." — Observations 
of Wentworth Greenhalgh in a Journey from Albany to ye Indyans west- 
ward ; Begun May 28th, Km 7, and ended July ye 14th following. London 
doc. iii. Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 20. 

1 Each tribe has, in the gable end of its cabin, the animal of the tribe 
painted ; some in black, others in red. * ^ * 

" When they go to war and wish to inform those of the party who may 
pass their path they make a representation of the animal of their tribe, with 
a hatchet in his dexter paw ; sometimes a sabre or a club ; and if there be a 
number of tribes together in the same party, each draws the animal of his 
tribe, and the number representing the tribe's party all on a tree from which 
the bark has been removed. The animal of the tribe heading the expedition 
is always the foremost." — The nine Iroquois tribes. 1666. Paris doc. i. Doc. 
hist. N. Y. vol. i. pp. 11, 12. 


speak and preach to thern fluently. There is no Chris- 
tian here who understands the language thoroughly ; 
those who have lived here long can hold a kind of con 
versation just sufficient to carry on trade with them, but 
they do not understand the idiom of the language. I am 
making a vocabulary of the Mahakuaa language, and 
when I am among them I ask them how things are called; 
but as they are very stupid, I sometimes cannot get an 
explanation of what I want. Besides what I have just 
mentioned, one will tell me a word in the infinitive mood, 
another in the indicative ; one in the first, another in the 
second person ; one in the present, another in the praeter 
perfect tense. I often stand and look but do not know 
how to put it down. And as they have their declensions 
and conjugations, so they have their augments like the 
Greeks. Thus I am as if I were distracted, and fre 
quently cannot tell what to do, and there is no person to 
set me right. I must do all the studying myself in order 
to become in time an Indian grammarian. When I first 
observed that they pronounced their words so diff'erently, 
I asked the commissary of the company what it meant. ^ 
He answered that he did not know, but imagined they 
changed their language every two or three years. I told 
him in reply that it could not be that a whole nation 
should so frequently change its language ; and, though 
he has been associated with them here these twenty years 
he can afford me no assistance. ^' '^ ^ '• 

''We go with them into the woods, we meet with 
each other, sometimes at an hour or two's walk from any 
houses, and think no more about it than if we met with a 
Christian. They sleep by us, too, in our chambers, before 
our beds. I have had eight at once, who lay and slept 
upon the floor, near my bed ; for it is their custom to 

1 Sebastian Jansen Crol. 


sleep only on the bare ground, and to have only a stone 
or a piece of wood under their heads. In the evening 
they go to bed very soon after they have supped ; but 
they rise early in the morning, and are up before day 
begins to break. They are very slovenly and dirty. 
They do not wash their faces or hands, but let all kinds 
of filth remain upon their yellow skui, and look as dirty 
as hogs. Their bread is Indian corn beaten into pieces 
between two stones, of which they make a cake, and 
bake it in the ashes. Their other victuals are venison, 
turkeys, hares, bears, wild cats, their own dogs and other 
things. The fish they cook just as they get them out of 
the water without cleaning them ; also the entrails of 
deer, with all their contents, v^hich they cook a 
little ; and if the entrails are then too tough, they take 
one end in their mouth and the other in their hand, and 
between hand and mouth they separate and eat them. 
So they do commonly with flesh. They cut a little piece 
and lay it on the fire so long as it takes one to go from 
house to church, and then it is done ; and when they eat 
it, the blood runs down their chins. They can also take 
a piece of bear's fat as large as two fists, and eat it with- 
out bread or any thing else. It is natural to them to have 
no beards. Not one in a hundred has any hair about his 

''They paint their faces red, blue and other colors, 
and then they look like the devil himself. They smear 
their heads with bear's grease, which they all carry with 
them for this purpose in a small basket. They say they 
do it to make their hair grow better and prevent their 
having lice. When they travel they take with them 
some of their maize, a kettle, a wooden bowl, and a 
spoon. These they pack and hang on their backs. When- 
ever they are hungry, they immediately make a fire and 


cook. They can get fire by rubbing pieces of wood 
together one against the other, and that very quickly. 

''They have their set times for going to catch fish, 
bears, panthers, and beavers. In the spring they catch 
vast quantities of shad and eels, which are very large 
here. They lay them on the bark of trees in the sun, 
and dry them thoroughly until they are hard, and then 
put them in notasten or bags, which they plait from 
hemp, which grows wild here, and keep the fish till 
winter. When their corn is ripe, they take off the ears 
and put them in deep pits, and preserve them the 
whole winter. They can also make nets and seines in 
their fashion ; and when they want to fish with seines, 
ten or twelve men will go together and help one another, 
all of whom own the seine in common. '-" '^ ^ '^ 

''They generally live without marriage, but if any of 
them have wives, the marriage continues no longer than 
they think proper, and then they separate and each takes 
another partner. I have seen those that had parted, and 
afterward lived a long time with others, seek their former 
partners and again be one pair. On the birth of a child, 
the women go about immediately afterward, and be it 
ever so cold it makes no difference, they wash themselves 
and the infant in the river or the snow. They will not 
he down (for they say that if they did they should soon 
die), but keep going about. ^ ^* ^'' The men have 
great authority over their wives, so that if they do any 
thing which affronts them and makes them angry, they 
take an axe and knock them in the head, and there is an 
end of it. The women are obliged to prepare the land, 
to mow, to plant and do everything. The men do nothing 
except hunt, fish, and go to war against their enemies. 
They are very cruel toward their enemies in time of war. 
They first bite off the nails of the fingers of their cap- 


tives, and cut off some joints, and sometimes all the fin- 
gers. The captives are afterward forced to sing and dance 
before them stark naked ; and finally, they roast their 
prisoners dead before a slow fire for some days, and then 
eat them. The common people eat the arms, the rump 
and trunk, but the chiefs eat the head and heart. '^ * '^ 

''They have also naturally a great opinion of them- 
selves. They say, ' / hy Othkon ' — (I am the devil), by 
which they mean that they are unequalled. In order to 
praise themselves and theif people, whenever we tell 
them they are very expert at catching deer, or doing this 
and that, they say, ' Tkoschs ko, aguweechon kajingahaga 
kouacme Jountuckcha Othkon;^ that is, Really all the 
Mohawks are very cunning devils. ^ '^ '^ They also 
make of the peeling and bark of trees, canoes or 
small boats, which will carry four, five, and six persons. 
They also hollow out trees and use them for boats, some 
of which are very large. I have several times sat and 
sailed with ten, twelve, and fourteen persons in one of 
these hollowed logs. We have in our colony a wooden 
canoe obtained from the Indians, which will easily carry 
two hundred schepels [one hundred and fifty bushels] of 
wheat. The arms used by them in war were formerly a 
bow and arrow, with a stone axe and clap-hammer, or 
mallet ; but now they get from our people guns, swords, 
iron axes and mallets. '^ '^ ""' They place their dead 
upright in holes, and do not lay them down, and then 
they throw some trees and wood on the grave, or inclose 
it with palisades. ^ ^' ^ 

''They are entire strangers to all religion, but they 
have a Tharonhijoiiaagon, (whom they also otherwise call 
Athzoockkuatoriaho^) that is, a Genius, w^hom they honor 
in the place of Grod ; but they do not serve or present 
offerings to him. They worship and present offerings to 


the devilj whom they call Otskon, or Aireskuoni, If 
they have any bad luck in war, they catch a bear, which 
they cut in pieces, and roast, and these they offer up to 
their Aireskuoni, saying the following words : ' great 
and mighty Aireskuoni, we know that we have offended 
against thee, inasmuch as we have not killed and eaten 
our captive enemies ; forgive us this. We promise that 
we will kill and eat all the captives we shall hereafter 
take as certainly as we have killed, and now eat this 
bear.' Also when the weather is very hot, and there 
comes a cooling breeze, they cry out directly. 'Asoronusi, 
asoronusi, Otskon aworouhsi reinnuha ; ' that is, I 
thank thee, I thank thee, Devil, I thank thee, Oomke ! 
If they are sick, or have a pain or soreness any where in 
their limbs, and I ask them what ails them, they say 
that the devil sits in their body, or in the sore places, and 
bites them there ; and they always attribute to the devil 
the accidents which befall them ; they have no other re- 
ligion than this. When we pray they laugh at us. Some 
of them really despise praying ; and some, when we tell 
them what we do when we pray, stand astonished. 
When we have a sermon, sometimes ten or twelve of 
them, more or less, will attend, each having a long to- 
bacco pipe that he has made, in his mouth, and will 
stand awhile and look, and afterward ask me what I 
was doing and what I wanted that I stood there alone 
and made so many words, while none of the rest might 
speak. I tell them that I admonish the Christians that 
they must not steal, nor commit lewdness, nor get drunk, 
nor commit murder, and that they too ought not to do 
these things, and that I intend in course of time to preach 
the same to them and come to them in their own country 
and castles (about three days' journey from here, further 
inland,) when I am acquainted with their language. They 


say I do well to teach the Christians, but immediately 
add, ' Diatennon jawij Assyreoni, hagiowisk,^ that is, 
Why do so many Christians do these things ? They 
call us Assyreoni, that is, cloth-makers, or Charistooni, 
that is, iron workers, because our people first brought 
cloth and iron among them." ^ 

A few weeks before the arrival of Domine Megapolensis 
at Fort Orange, about seventy Mohawk warriors set out on 
a foray. On the fourth of August they attacked from both 
sides of the St. Lawrence Riv^e^r a party of Huron Indians 
and French priests who were ascending the river to the 
Huron country in twelve canoes. Twenty-two prisoners 
were taken in the brief struggle. On the march to the Mo- 
hawk River the captives were subjected to a series of sav- 
age cruelties, which are partly described by Father Jogues, 
in a letter written by him at Rensselaerswyck, dated 
August 5, 1643. '^ This holy man they had beaten senseless 
because he had manifested a tender commiseration for 
one of the tortured prisoners. ''Scarcely had I begun to 
breathe, when some others, attacking me, tore out, by 
biting, almost all my finger-nails, and crunched my two 
forefingers with their teeth, giving me intense pain. 
-:v ^ -X- ^^ trial, however, came harder upon me than 
to see them, five or six days afterward, approach us jaded 
with the march, and in cold blood, with minds nowise 
excited by passion, pluck out our hair and beard, and 
drive their nails, which are always very sharp, deep into 
parts most tender and sensitive to the slightest impres- 
sion. ^ ^ ^- On the eighth day we fell in with a band 
of two hundred Indians going out to fight ;^ and as it is 

1 Vide Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. viii. pp. 137-160. 

2 This letter, it is said by the translator, John Gilmary Shea, was ad- 
dressed to the provincial of the Jesuits at Paris. The original, in its classic 
Latin, was printed by Alegambe, in his Mortes illustres, Rome, 1657 ; and 
by Tanner in his Societas Militans, Prague, 1675. 

3 At an island in Lake Champlain. 


the custom for savages, when out on war-parties, to ini- 
tiate themselves, as it were, by cruelty, under the belief 
that their success will be the greater as they shall have 
been the more cruel, they thus received us : First render- 
ing thanks to the sun, which they imagine presides over 
war, they congratulated their countrymen by a joyful 
volley of musketry. Each then cut some stout clubs in 
the neighboring wood in order to receive us. After we had 
landed from the canoes, they fell upon us from both sides 
with their clubs in such fury, that I, who was the last and 
therefore the most exposed to their blows, sank overcome 
by their numbers and severity before I had accomplished 
half the rocky way that led to the hill on which a stage 
had been erected for us. I thought I should quickly die 
there ; and therefore, partly because I could not, partly 
because I cared not, I did not rise. How long they spent 
their fury upon me He knows for Avhose love and sake it 
is delightful and glorious thus to suffer. Moved at last 
by a cruel mercy, and wishing to carry me to their 
country alive, they ceased to strike. And thus half dead 
and covered with blood, they bore me to the scaffold. 
Here I had scarce begun to breathe, when they ordered 
me to come down to load me vnth scoffs and insults, and 
countless blows upon my head and shoulders, and indeed 
on my whole body. I should be tedious were I to at- 
tempt to tell all that the French prisoners suffered. They 
burnt one of my fingers, and crushed another with their 
teeth ; the others already thus mangled they so wrenched 
by the tattered nerves that even now, though healed, they 
are frightfully deformed. ^ ^ ^ On the eve of the As- 
sumption [the fifteenth of August], about three o'clock, 
we reached a river which flows by their village. ^ Both 
banks were filled with Iroquois, who received us with clubs, 

1 The Mohawk. 


fists, and stones. As a bald or thinly-covered head is an ob- 
ject of aversion to them, this tempest burst in its fury on 
my bare head. Two of my nails had hitherto escaped ; 
these they tore out with their teeth, and with their keen 
nails stripped off the flesh beneath to the very bone." 
Shortly afterward Father Jogues was approached by an 
old Indian, who compelled an unwilling squaw to cut off 
his left thumb. ^ 

The news of the foray of the Mohawks soon reached 
Fort Orange. It startled the little community. The 
armed Mohawks were greater in number than the sol- 
diers of the garrison and the able-bodied men of the 
manor. No one could tell how soon some sudden freak of 
savage temper might suggest an attack upon the fort and 
the pillage of the farms. The power to enslave French- 
men might prompt an attempt to subject the people of 
the church- neighborhood to a similar servitude. The 
colonists were governed by their apprehensions. They 
resolved to do two things. The first was to retain the 
good will of the Mohawks by presenting them with some 
significant tokens of their friendship. The second was 
to procure the early release of the French prisoners by 
offering their captors a large ransom. 

Arendt van Curler, the patroon's commissary, Jan 
Labatie, a French settler, and Jacob Jansen of Amster- 
dam, were delegated to visit the Mohawks, and to renew 
the former covenants of peace and amity, and to make 
overtures for the liberation of Father Jogues, and his 
assistant laymen, {donnes,) William Couture and Eene 
Goupil. They proceeded to the Mohawk village, where as 
Arent van Curler relates the three Frenchmen were kept 
prisoners, ^^ among them a Jesuit, a very learned man, 
whom they had treated very badly by cutting off his fin- 

1 The Jogues papers, translated and arranged, with a memoir, by John 
Gilmary Shea. Coll, N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. viii. pp. 174-182. 


gers and thumbs. 1 carried presents there, and desired 
that we should hve as good neighbors and that they 
should neither harm the colonists nor their castle, to all 
of which the savages of all three villages readily agreed. 
We were entertained there very well and veAy kindly. 
We had to stop before each castle for about a quarter 
of an hour that the savages could get ready and re- 
ceive us with a number of salutes from their muskets. 
They were highly delighted that I had come there. Some 
men were immediately ordered to go hunting and they 
brought home very fine turkeys. After thoroughly in- 
specting their castle, I called together all the chiefs of 
the three castles and advised them to release the 
French prisoners, but without success, for they re- 
fused it in an eloquent speech, saying : ' We shall be 
kind to you always, but on this subject you must be 
silent. Besides you well know how they treat our people 
when they fall into their hands.' Had we reached there 
three or four days later they would have been burnt. I 
offered them a ransom for the Frenchmen, about six 
hundred florins in goods, which all the colony was to 
contribute, but they would not accept it. We neverthe- 
less induced them to promise not to kill them, but to 
carry them back to their country. The Frenchmen ran 
screaming after us and besought us to do all in our 
power for their delivery from the savages. But there was 
no chance for it. On my return they gave me an escort 
of ten or twelve armed men who conducted us home. * 
jf -jf Two of these Frenchmen, of whom the Jesuit was 
one, were at my house last May. They expressed their 
hope that means could be found to procure their release. 
As soon as the Indians return from hunting, I shall en- 
deavor to obtain their freedom.'' ^ 

1 MSB. of Rensselaerswyck. Letter of Arendt van Curler to the patroon 
dated at "the Manhattans," June 16, 1643. 


It was not until the summer of 1643 that a way of 
escape was opened to Father Jogues. About the first of 
August he was permitted to accompany a party of Mo- 
hawks to Fort Orange. He then went with them to "a 
place seven or eight leagues below the Dutch post/' to 
catch fish. Returning about the middle of the month, 
the Indians tarried at Fort Orange. Here he was advised 
by the officer commanding the garrison to get privately 
on board of a vessel anchored in the river and about to 
sail to Virginia, whence it would carry him to France. 
He was greatly perplexed. He was afraid that the 
Indians would suspect the Dutch of aiding him to 
escape. He said he would wait until morning be- 
fore accepting or declining the advice given him. 
''As soon as it was day," he writes, ''I went to 
salute the Dutch governor, and told him the resolution I 
had come to before God. He called upon the officers of 
the ship, told them his intentions, and exhorted them to 
receive and conceal me, in a word, to carry me over to 
Europe. They replied that if I could once get aboard 
their vessel I was safe, and would not have to leave it till 
I reached Bordeaux or Eochelle. " 

'''Cheer up, then,' said the governor, 'return with 
the Indians, and this evening, or in the night, steal off 
quietly and get to the river, where you will find a little 
boat which I will have ready to take you to the ship.' 

''After most humble thanks to all those gentlemen, I 
left the Dutch, better to conceal my design. In the 
evening I retired, with ten or twelve Iroquois, to a barn, 
where we bpent the night. Before lying down I went 
out to see where I could most easily escape. The dogs, 
then let loose, ran at me, and a large and powerful one 
snapped at my bare leg and bit it severely. I immediately 
entered the barn, the Iroquois closed the door securely, 


and to guard me better came and lay beside me, the one 
who was in a manner appointed to watch me. Seeing 
myself beset with these mishaps, and the barn secured 
and surrounded by dogs that would betray me if I 
attempted to go out, I almost thought I could not 
escape. ^ ^ ^ This whole night also I spent without 
sleep. Toward day I heard the cocks crow. Soon after, a 
servant of the Dutch farmer, who had received us into 
his barn, entered by some door I had not seen. I went up 
to him softly and made him a sign, not understanding his 
Flemish, to si^op the dogs from barking. He immediately 
went out, and I after him, when I had taken up my 
little luggage consisting of a little office of the Blessed 
Virgin, an Imitation of Christ, and a wooden cross which 
I had made to keep me in mind of my Saviour's suffer- 
ings. Having got out of the barn without making any 
noise or waking my guards, I climbed over a fence sur- 
rounding the house, and ran straight to the river where 
the ship was. It was as much as my wounded leg could 
do, for the distance was a quarter of a league. I found 
the boat as I had been told, but as the tide had gone 
down it w^as high and dry. I pushed it to get it to the 
water, but finding it too heavy, I called to the ship to 
send me their boat to take me on board. There was no 
answer. I do not know whether they heard me. Be 
that as it may, no one appeared, and day was beginning 
to reveal to the Iroquois the robbery which I had made 
of myself, and I feared to be surprised in my innocent 
crime. Weary of hallooing I returned to my boat, and 
praying to the Almighty to increase my strength, I suc- 
ceeded at last so well by working it slowly on and push- 
ing stoutly that I got it into the water. As soon as it 
floated I jumped in and reached the vessel alone, unper- 
ceived by any Iroquois. I was immediately lodged in the 


bottom of the hold, and to hide me they put a large box 
on the hatch. I was two days and two nights in the hold 
of this ship, in such a state that I expected to be suffo- 
cated and die of the stench. ^ ^ ^ 

'^The second night of my voluntary imprisonment 
the minister of the Hollanders came to tell me that the 
Iroquois had made much trouble, and that the Dutch 
settlers were afraid that they would set fire to their 
houses and kill their cattle. * * * i was taken to his 
house, [that of the officer who had advised him to es- 
cape], where he kept me concealed. These comings and 
goings were done by night, so that I was not discov- 

^^The Iroquois," he says in another letter, ^'came to 
the Dutch post about the middle of September, and made 
a great deal of disturbance, but at last received the 
presents made by the captain who had me concealed. 
They amounted to about three hundred livres, which I 
will endeavor to repay. All things being quieted, I was 
sent to Manhattan, where the governor of the country 
resides. He received me kindly, gave me clothes and 
passage in a vessel which crossed the ocean in mid- 
winter." ^ 

1 Father Jogues's letter, dated Rensselaerswyck, August SO, 1643. Coll. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. viii. pp. 207-214. 

3 Letter of Father Jogues to Father Charles Lalemant. Rennes, January 
6, 1644. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. viii. pp. 214, 215. 

It is said that on his arrival in France, "honors met him on every side ; 
objects belonging to him were eagerly sought as relics ; the Queen Regent 
even requested that he should come to Paris, that she might see so illustrious 
a sufferer. All this was painful to him, and it was not till three times 
summoned that he proceeded to the capital. He longed to return to Canada ; 
but one thing prevented his departure. The mangled hands which had been 
reverently kissed by the Queen and Court of France, were an obstacle to his 
celebrating the holy sacrifice of the altar. A dispensation was needed. 
Urban VIII. then sat in the See of Peter, a pope noted especially for the 
stringent rules which he introduced against any symptom of public veneration 
to the departed servants of God until their life and virtues had been sifted 
and examined in the long and minute legal proceedings for canonization. 


The officers of the patroon were often at variance. 
Disagreements and disputes concerning the administra- 
tion of the affairs of the manor made them openly cen- 
sure one another, and, in time, each was the leader of a 
faction. Adriaen van der Donck, the schout-fiscaal, 
attempted to secure the favor of the colonists by conniv- 
ing at the infringement of the laws and regulations of 
the patroon, and by disparaging the official conduct of 
the commissary-general. Overtaxed by the numerous 
cares of the management of the manor. Van Curler was 
made to feel in many ways the brunt of Van der Donck's 
personal criticism and ill-will. The loyal commissary 
held the patroon in high respect. In addressing him in 
his letters he used the most complimentary phrases of 
personal courtesy. " Most honorable, wise, powerful, and 
right discreet lord, my lord patroon, with submissive 
salutation this shall serve to greet your honor and your 
honor's beloved lady, who is dear to you, with wished-for 
good fortune, prosperity, and continued happiness." 

In a letter thus addressed to Kiliaen van Rensselaer, 
dated '^at the Manhattans," June 16, 1643, he speaks of the 
reprehensible conduct of the attorney-general. Informing 
the patroon that he had broken the contract made with 
the men who were to build the house for Domine Mega- 
polensis and that he had bought a new one from Maryn 
Adriaensen van Veere, he says : ^' Van der Donck, hearing 
this, began to associate with the carpenters and others, 
and told them that we had issued placards [proclamations | 

Yet when the application of Father Jogues was presented, and he had 
learned the story of his sufferings, he forgot his own laws and exclaimed, as 
he granted it, ' Indip^num esse C/nisti tnartyrem Christi n.ui 'jibere sani^-ui7ie;u .' '' 
In June, 1646, on his way to visit the tribe by whom he had been held pris- 
oner, he stopped at Fort Orange. In the fall of 1646 he fell into the hands 
of a war-party of Mohawks, who put him to death with horrible cruelties. 
Memoir of Father Jogues by John Gilmary Shea. Coll, N. Y. Hist. Soc. 
Second series, vol. viii. pp. 168-172. 


forbidding the colonists to trade with the residents [the 
traders at Fort Orange] ; that those interested should 
mutiny, that those who had been connected with this 
[purchase of the house] had also drawn up the placards, 
and also that I had undertaken to steal the bread out of 
the mouths of the colonists. Some who heard him were 
surprised that an officer of the manor should give such 
counsel to the people. Some immediately conspired 
together to protest against me, and under the protest 
[written by them] drew a circle within which to place 
their names, so that it should not be known who had 
first signed it. This protest having been drawn up, some 
were for driving me out of the colony as a rogue, others 
wished to take my life. Nothing, however, resulted from 
these threats. Van der Donck thereafter said he would 
honestly and to our satisfaction, assist me and the 
council. But when want pressed him, he withdrew from 
me and the council to second them. I shall send your 
honor the affidavits of two persons who told me this 
with their own lips, so that your honor can readily form 
an opinion respecting this matter, and what kind of an 
officer you have here who causes so much trouble to a 
whole colony. He intends next year to return home. He 
has been to Kat skill with some colonists to examine that 
place, and your honor may be assured he intends to look 
for partners to plant a colony there. Borger Jorissen, 
who has heretofore been in the lord's colony, will also 
live there." 

When KiUaen van Rensselaei* received the informa- 
tion concerning Van der Donck's intention to plant a 
colony on the south side of his manor, he forthwith com- 
missioned Pieter Wyncoop, then at Amsterdam with the 
ship, the Arms of Rensselaerswyck, to purchase from the 
Indians the lands lying at Katskill. According to the 


charter of 1629, the patroon claimed that no person 
could settle a colony within seven or eight miles of his 
manor, and that he could extend the limits of his own to 
Katskill if he settled a proportionate number of colonists 
on it, which number of emigrants was then on board the 
Arms of Rensselaerswyck. In order to preclude Van der 
Donck from making such a settlement, the patroon de- 
clared that he had already included the new tract within 
his manor, fromBeeren Island to Katskill..^ 

He therefore instructed Arendt van Curler to con- 
strain Van der Donck to desist from his undertaking. He 
wrote : ''In case Van der Donck should prove obstinate, 
he shall be degraded from his office and left on his 
bouwery to complete his contracted lease. He shall not be 
allowed to depart, and his office shall be conferred pro- 
visionally on Nicolaas Coorn till further orders, and he 
shall be divested of all papers appertaining to his charge. 
But if he will desist, then he shall be allowed to hold his 
office and his bouwery. "^ 

Van Curler also wrote to the patroon concerning the 
evils which had sprung up in the colony by the general 
competition to purchase peltry. He said: ''The trade 
heretofore has always been at six fathoms of zeewan, 
[for a merchantable beaver skin]. Last year the residents 
as well as the colonists gave seven to seven and a half 
fathoms. I also gave the same. As soon as they saw 
that I and the West India Company's commissary gave 
so much, they immediately gave nine, and since this 
spring ten fathoms. So at last the trade ran so high 
that we of the colony and the commissary at the fort 
agreed to publish a placard as well for the colonists as 

1 Letter to Arendt van Curler, dated Amsterdam, Sept. 10, 1643. MSS. 
of Rensselaerswyck. 

2 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. An order to Arendt van Curler and Pieter 
Wyncoop concerning Katskill 


the residents and the company's servants that they 
should not presume^ on pain of heavy fine and confisca- 
tion of their goods, to trade with the Indians for furs at 
more than nine fathoms of white wampum, or four and 
a half fathoms of black ; and that none, on pain of con- 
fiscation, should go into the woods to trade, and ordered 
that the officer [Van der Donck] should prevent it. And 
he has not even once attended to this ; nor will he do so 
even now. When he was told that he should take notice 
of the frauds and abuses in order to prevent the same 
as much as possible, he declared that he would not con- 
sent to be the worst man to others, that he would not 
make himself suspected by the colonists as his years, as 
officer, were few. And it happened last year, that we 
agreed together respecting a placard that no residents 
should presume to come with their boats within the 
limits of the colony, on confiscation of the same. There- 
upon there were great complaints on the part of the colo- 
nists. '" ^ '^ Neither I nor the company have 
scarcely had any trade this year. I believe the residents 
have conveyed fully three to four thousand furs from 
above. So great a trade has never been driven as this 
year, and it would be very profitable if your honor could 
bring about with a high hand that the residents should 
not come to the colony to trade. Otherwise your honor 
will never derive any profit." ^ 

The patroon, as suggested by Van Curler, did attempt 
"with a high hand" to prevent traders from coming to 
his colony to traffic with the settlers and Indians. He 
ordered Nicolaas Coorn to fortify Beeren Island and to 
demand of each skipper of a vessel passing up and down 
the river, except those of the West India Company, a 

1 Letter of Arendt van Curler to the patroon, June 16, 1643. MSS. of 


toll of five guilders (two dollars) as a staple right or tax, 
and also to compel each one to lower his colors in honor 
of the patroon. In accordance with the instructions 
given him, he issued a manifesto prefaced with this 
paragraph : 

''I, Nicolaas Coorn, quartermaster (wacht-meester) of 
Rensselaer's castle (steyn) and for the noble lord, Kiliaen 
van Eensselaer, under the high jurisdiction of the high 
and mighty Lords States General of the United Nether- 
lands, and the privileged West India Company, hereditary 
commander of the colonies on this North River of New 
Netherland, and as vice-commander in his place, make 
known to you that you shall not presume to use this river 
to the injury of the acquired right of the said lord in his 
rank as patroon of the colony of Rensselaerswyck, the 
first and the oldest on this river." 

The loyal wacht-meester charged the intrusive 
traders with the following offences : 

''First, you frequent this river without his [the 
patroon's] knowledge. '' '• ^' 

"Second, you have attempted afterward to withdraw 
from him and allure to yourself the tribes round about, 
which for many years have been accustomed to trade 
either at Fort Orange with the company's commissary, or 
with his commissary especially, and if possible to divert 
these tribes away to his injury, and to show them other 
secret trading places, greatly to the prejudice of the 
West India Company and of him, the patroon. 

''Third, that you have destroyed the trade in furs by 
advancing and raising the price thereof on the company's 
commissary at Fort ()i*aMge, as well as on his (the 
patroon's) commissaiy ; that you are satisfied if you get 
merely some profit from it, not caring afterward whether 
or not the trade be so ruined that the patroon will thereby 


i i 

be unable to meet the expenses of his colony, the same 
being greatly prejudicial to him, thepatroon. 

" Fourth, that you. sought bo debauch and to turn his 
own inhabitants and subjects against their lord and 
master, furnishing them among other things with wine 
and strong drink, and selling this to them at a usurious 
and high price against his will, causing yourself to be 
paid in peltries, which they, contrary to his orders and 
their own promises, trade away, or in wheat, which they 
purloin from their lord, of which they have given no ac- 
count, of which the lawful tenths were not legally 
drawn, of which he, the patroon, has not even received 
his third part or half according to contract, and of which 
he has not refused the right of pre-emption, compelling 
the patroon, who has been assisted by his people with 
little or no advances considering his outlay, to enter these 
on his books, while you go away with that, yea, with his 
share, whereby he is deprived of the means to provide 
his people with all that they require because you so ex- 
haust them and impoverish his colony, which is highly 
prejudicial to him, the patroon. 

'' Since he is not bound to suffer these things from any 
private individuals, he doth warn you to refrain from 
doing any of them. Protesting in the name of the said 
lord, should you presume in defiance of law to attempt 
to pass by contrary to this proclamation, I am directed to 
prevent you. Under this manifesto, however, you are 
permitted to trade with his commissary, but not with the 
Indians or his particular subjects, as will be seen and 
read in the admonition and instruction given by him, the 
patroon, to Pieter Wyncoop, the commissary, and Arendt 
van Curler, the commissary-general, conformable to the 
restrictions of the regulations contained therein."^ 

1 Protest of the patroon, dated the eighth day of September, 1643. 
MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 


While many of the traders were wiUing to comply 
with the regulations of the patroon governing their 
traffic in his colony, there were some who openly defied 
the power of his officers to prevent their traffic with the 
Indians and the colonists. The most humiliating require- 
ment was that each master of a vessel passing Beeren 
Island should salute the flag of the patroon. 

In the summer of 1644, Govert Loockermans, the 
skipper of the yacht the Good Hope, sailed from Fort 
Orange, and when passing Rensselaer's castle contempt- 
uously omitted the required salute. The vigilant officer 
of Rensselaer's fort cried out, ' ' Lower your colors ! " 

''For whom should I," demanded the imperturbable 

''For the staple-right of Rensselaerswyck/' replied 
the exasperated commander. 

"I lower my colors for no one except the prince of 
Orange and the lords, my masters," shouted the daring 

The blunt refusal to do homage to the Rensselaer 
ensign left no other course of action open to Wacht- 
meester Coorn than that of firing upon the yacht of the 
contumacious mariner. Quickly training the nearest 
cannon toward the passing vessel, the Dutch officer ap- 
plied a match and fired the piece. Its shot tore through 
the mainsail and cut away some of the rigging. The ball 
of a second cannon, fired too high, passed over the Good 
Hope. A third cannon fired by an Indian sent its missile 
through the colors of the prince of Orange which the in- 
trepid skipper was waving above his head. 

When Loockermans arrived at Fort Amsterdam, on the 
fifth of July, he lodged a complaint against Coorn and de- 
manded that reparation should be made him for the 
damages sustained by his vessel. The director-general 


and council of New Netherland ordered that Coorn 
should indemnify Loockermans for the injury done to the 
yacht, and forbade his firing on vessels passing Beeren 
Island under the penalty of corporal punishment. Seem- 
ingly the wacht-meester of Rensselaer's fort had no fear 
of the authority vested in the director and council of 
New Netherland, for he continued to demand toll and 
homage as he had previously done. The attorney -general 
of New Netherland was therefore again directed to notify 
Commander Coorn that if he did not refrain from inter- 
dicting the free navigation of the river to the height of 
its navigation that he would be prosecuted to the full ex- 
tent of the law. Coorn replied that it was a matter 
which the government and the patroon might settle be- 
tween them, and that the step he had taken had nothing 
else in view but " to keep the canker of free people " ^ out 
of Rensselaerswyck. Although frequent protests were 
made against this assumed privilege of the patroon 
nevertheless staple-right and the prescribed salute to the 
Rensselaer colors were demanded and obtained for a 
number of years thereafter by the undaunted com 
mander of Rensselaer's castle. ^ 

In mid-summer 1645, Director Kieft to obtain pledges 
of amity from the Indians of New Netherland visited 
Fort Orange to renew the former treaties made with the 
Mohawks and the other Wilden of the surrounding 
country. While the different conferences with the chiefs 
of the tribes detained the director-general at the fort, the 
following incident related by Van der Donck occurred : 
''It happened on a certain morning that the Indian in- 
terpreter lodging in the director's house came down stairs 

1 *' A/soo het gedaen wort om den kancker dervrijluijden ugt sijn colonie te 

2 Albany records, vol. ii. fol. 1*^2, 234, 268, ; vol. iii. fol. 187, 188, 219. 
Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. i. pp. SY'T-SSl. 


and in the presence of the director and myself sat down 
and began to streak and paint his face. The director ob- 
served the apphcation of the paint and requested me to in- 
quire of the Indian the name of the substance he was us- 
ing. He handed it to me and I passed it to the director, 
who carefully examined it and inferred from its weight 
and its greasy and shining appearance that it contain- 
ed some valuable metal. I bargained with the Indian 
for it to ascertain its composition. We experimented 
with it according to the best of our knowledge, and 
gave it to be assayed to an expert doctor of medicine, 
named Johannes La Montague of the council of New 
Netherland. The mineral was put into a crucible and 
placed in the fire and after it had been in the fire long 
enough (according to my opinion) it was taken out, when 
it yielded two pieces of gold worth about three guilders. 
This assay was kept a secret. After the treaty of peace 
was made, an officer and several men were sent to the 
mountain to which the Indian guided them for a quantity 
of the mineral. They returned with about a bucketful, in- 
termingled with stones. '^ '^" ''' Experiments were 
made with this quantity, which proved as good as the 
first." The director-general desired to send a small 
quantity of it to the Netherlands, and dispatched a man 
named Arent Corsen, with a bag containing the mineral, 
to New Haven, who took passage in an English ship 
about to sail to England, whence he was to proceed to 
Holland. This vessel sailed at Christmas and was lost 
at sea. ''The director-general, William Kieft, sailed 
from New Netherland for the Netherlands in the year 
164:7 on board the Princess, taking with him specimens 
of the assayed mineral and of several others. This ship 
was also lost." ^ 

1 Beschrijvinge van Nieuw Nederlant door Adriaen van der Donck. 
Coll. N. Y. Historical Soc. Second series, vol. i. pp. 161, 162. 


It was afterwards discovered that the so-called gold 
was nothing more than pyrites, a combination of 
sulphur, iron, copper, and cobalt, having a yellowish 
metallic luster. It is commonly called fooFs gold. 

To celebrate the cessation of Indian hostilities in New 
Netherland and the ratification of the various treaties of 
peace made by the director-general and his council with 
the different tribes, which for five years had been at war 
with the Dutch living in the vicinity of Fort Amsterdam 
and on Long Island, a general thanksgiving was ordered 
on the thirty-first of August, to be observed throughout 
New Netherland. 

''Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God, in his un- 
bounded clemency and mercy, in addition to many 
previous blessings, to suffer us to reach a long- wished -for 
peace with the Indians ; 

' ' Therefore is it deemed necessary to proclaim the 
fact to all the inhabitants of New Netherland, to the end 
that in all places within the aforesaid country where 
Dutch and English churches are established, God Al- 
mighty may be especially thanked, praised, and blessed, 
on next Wednesday forenoon, being the sixth of Septem- 
ber, the text to be appropriate and the sermon to be 
applicable thereto." 

A copy of the proclamation was sent to Domine 
Megapolensis, in Rensselaerswyck, accompanied with this 
order : ''Your reverence will please announce this matter 
to the people of the congregation next Sunday, so that 
they may have notice. On which we rely."^ 

Father Jogues, the French Jesuit missionary, who had 
returned to Canada, was sent in 1646, by the governor of 
Canada, as an embassador of peace to the Mohawks, 

1 Albany records, vol. ii. fol. 312-317. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second 
series, vol. i. pp. 275, 276, 278. 


with whom Father Jogues had been a prisoner. On the 
sixteenth of May, he set out on his mission from Three 
Eivers with Mr. Bourdon, a French officer, and four 
Mohawks and two Algonquins.^ On the twenty-ninth 
of May they reached Lake George, which was then called 
by the Indians Andiatorocte. Their arrival at the lake on 
the eve of the festival of Corpus Christi, instituted by 
the Eoman Catholic Church to honor Christ's body in the 
holy sacrament, was commemorated by the devout mis- 
sionary naming the beautiful sheet of water Lac du 
Saint Sacrement (Lake of the Holy Sacrament). Thence 
they came to Ossarague, a fishing place on the Hudson. 
A few days afterward the party reached Fort Orange, 
where Father Jogues received a hearty welcome from his 
Dutch friends, to whom he paid the sum of money that 
they had so generously advanced to ransom him from the 
Mohawks. On his return from his visit to the Mohawks 
he wrote a short description of New Holland, as he de- 
nominated New Netherland. He had a favorable oppor- 
tunity at the time of his visit to inspect Fort Orange, and 
to obtain considerable information respecting the growth 
of the settlement. His statements, therefore, are not 
only interesting, but truthful. He writes : ' ' There are 
two things in this settlement (which is called Rensselaers- 
wyck, or in other words the settlement of Rensselaer, 
who is a rich Amsterdam merchant), first, a miserable 
little fort called Fort Orange, built of logs, with four or 
five pieces of Breteuil cannon and as many swivels. This 
has been reserved and is maintained by the West India 
Company. This fort was formerly on an isla^id in the 
river. It is now on the main-land toward the Iroquois, 
a little above the said island. Second, a colony sent here 
by this Rensselaer, who is the patroon. This colony is 

1 The Algonquin tribe lived in Canada. 


composed of about a hundred persons, who reside in some 
twenty-five or thirty houses, built along the river as each 
one found most convenient. In the principal house lives 
the patroon's agent ; the minister has his apart, in which 
service is performed. There is also a kind of bailiff here, 
whom they call the seneschal, who administers justice. 
Their houses are solely of boards and thatched, with no 
mason-work except the chimneys. The forest furnishes 
many large pines ; they make boards by means of their 
mills, which they have here for the purpose. 

' ' They found some pieces of cultivated ground, which 
the savages had formerly cleared, and in which they 
sow wheat and oats for beer, and for their horses, of 
which they have great numbers. There is little land fit 
for tillage, being hemmed in by hills, which are poor soil. 
This obliges them to separate, and they already occupy 
two or three leagues of country. 

" Trade is free to all ; this gives the Indians all things 
cheap, each of the Hollanders outbidding his neighbor, 
and being satisfied, provided he can gain some little profit. 

^'This settlement is not more than twenty leagues 
from the Agniehrorons, [MohawksJ who can be reached 
by land or water, as the river [the Mohawk] on which 
the Iroquois lie, falls into that [the Hudson] which passes 
by the Dutch, but there are many low rapids and a fall 
[Cohoes falls] of a short half league, where the canoe 
must be carried." ^ 

The church, which the patroon had instructed Van 
Curler to build in 1(>4:2, was not erected, it seems, until 
lf)4f). The commissary, writing to the patroon in June, 
1648, says : "As for the church it is not yet contracted 
for, not even begun. I had written to your honor that I 

1 Father Jogues's description of New Netherland, written at Three Rivers 
in New France, August 8, 1646, Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. 
viii. pp. 217, *J18. 


had a building almost ready, namely the covenanted 
work, which would have been for Domine Megapolensis, 
but this house did not suit Domine Johannes ; in other 
respects it was adapted in every way to his wants. On 
this account I have laid it aside. The one which 1 in- 
tend to build this summer in the pine-grove will be 
thirty-four feet long by nineteen wide. It will be large 
enough for the first three or four years to preach in and 
can be used afterward as a residence by the sexton, or for 
a school. I hope your honor will not take this ill as it 
happened through good intentions." ^ 

When Father Jogues visited Fort Orange, in the sum- 
mer of 1646, Domine Megapolensis was still conducting 
the religious services of the settlers in his own house. 
The building designed for the church was already erected, 
and Willem Fredericksen, a carpenter, had almost 
finished making the furniture which was needed to com- 
plete it for the use of the small congregation that had 
been worshiping in the parsonage. The plain-built edifice 
with its vaulted ceiling contained a predickstool or pulpit, 
a seat for the magistrates, one for the deacons, nine 
benches and several corner-seats.^ The little church 
stood on a plot of ground a short distance northwest of 
the fort, near the line of Church Street, between Pruyn 
Street and Madison Avenue. ^ 

The wooden buildings forming the church- neighbor- 
hood stood near the bank of the river, between the fort 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

2 In the ledger of the manor, {groef boek de colonic Rensselaerswyck,^ page 
56, is the account of the carpenter, Willem Fredericksz, who under the date 
of 1646 is credited as follows : *' Voor dat hij in de keick heeft geriaacht ecn 
Predickstool het verwulf, een stoel voor de overicheyt, een ditto voor de Diaconie,. 
een cosijn fuet 2 lichten, een kruys cosijn dicht gemaackt, een daetin een kusje^ een 
hoeckje 7ievens de stoel, met een bmick in eeit winckelhaeck, en g bancken, te 
saemen voor 80 fl.'' About thirty -two dollars. 

3 The name, Madison Avenue, was substituted for that of Lydius Street, 
May 20, 1867. 


and the patroon's trading-house, the latter being a short 
distance north of the former. South of the fort were 
several dwellings, one of which was the ferry-house, on 
the north side of the Bever kill. Inside the fort were the 
trading-house of the West India Company and a few 
cottages, one of which was occupied by Harmanus 
Myndertse van derBogaert, ^ who had succeeded Sebas- 
tiaen Jansen Orol, the company's commissary. On the 
fifth kill, beyond the patroon's trading-house, was one of 
the grist-mills of the manor. It had been out of repair 
for some time and as it had been thought to be too far 
from the people dwelling near the fort, another mill 
operated by two horses was constructed during the sum- 
mer in the pine-grove northwest of the church. ^ 

On the death of Kiliaen van Eensselaer, in 1646, 
Johan, his eldest son, became patroon. He was under 
age, and the management of the affairs of the colony 
was intrusted by the executors, Johannes van Wely and 
Wouter van Twiller, to Brandt Arent van Slechtenhorst 
of Nieukerke, Holland. While Van Slechtenhorst was 
preparing to remove to New Netherland, Anthonie de 
Hooges, the secretary of the colony, and Nicolaas Coorn 
the schout, had charge of the manor ; Arendt van Curler 
being in Holland. 

In March, 1647, there was a great freshet, which 
almost washed away Fort Orange and the houses in the 
church-neighborhood. It is related that while the river 

1 He sometimes wrote his name, Harmanus & Boghardij. 

On the seventeenth of January, 1646, the house occupied by Adriaen 
van der Donck was burned to the ground, and he and his wife lived in one 
of the cottages within the fort until his term of office as schout-fiscaal of 
Rensselaerswyck expired, when, in April, at the opening of navigation, he 
removed to Fort Amsterdam — MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

3 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Collections on the history of Albany 
from its discovery to the present time. By Joel Munsell, Albany, 1865- 
1871. vol iii. pp.66, 67. Albany county records translated by Professor 
Jonathan Pierson of Union College, Schenectady, N. Y. 


overflowed its banks a number of whales ascended it, one 
of which was stranded on an island opposite Lansing- 
burgh, called afterwai'd Walvish Eylant (Whale Island), 
now covered by the deep water of the state-dam. ''This 
fish was tolerably fat, and although the people of Rens- 
selaerswyck boiled out a great quantity of train-oil, yet 
the water of the river (the current being still rapid) was 
oily for three weeks thereafter and covered with grease. "^ 
Petrus Stuyvesant, the successor of Director Kieft, 
arrived at Fort Amsterdam on the eleventh of May, 1647. 
His policy was one of reform. He began his administra- 
tion by making new laws to protect the commercial 
interests of the West India Company, and took steps to 
have them enforced in every part of New Netherland. 
The jurisdiction which he claimed to have over the 
people of Rensselaerswyck seemed to the settlers to be an 
unwarranted usurpation of the personal prerogatives of 
the patroon. When Brandt Arent van Slechtenhorst, 
on his arrival at Fort Orange on the twenty-second of 
March, 1648, entered upon the performance of his duties 
as director of the manor, he ignored the right of Director 
Stuyvesant to require obedience from the people of Rens- 
selaerswyck to the new laws enacted by the director and 
council of New Netherland, and took the first opportunity 
that was given him to show that he did not consider 
the people of the manor were subjects of the West India 
Company. '^ When the director-general shortly afterward 
sent a proclamation to be read in the church at Fort 
Orange, setting apart Wednesday, the sixth of May, to 
be observed as a day of fasting and prayer by the people 

1 Beschrijvinge van Nieuw Nederlant door Adriaen van der Donck. Coll. 
N. Y. Hist. Soc. Second series, vol. i. pp. 140, 141. 

3 Van Slechtenhorst sailed from Holland Sept. 26, 1647, for Virginia. The 
river being frozen he did not reach Fort Orange until March 22, 164b, with 
his family and servants. 


there and in the colony of Eensselaerswyck, and ordering 
a sermon on penance to be preached by Domine Megapo- 
lensis on the first Wednesday of each month, Van Slecht - 
enhorst protested against the pubhcation of the proclam- 
ation, declaring that it was contrary to " the old order 
and usage/' making it appear as if the director-general 
were the proprietor of the patroon's colony. ^ Although 
Van Slechtenhorst resolutely contended that the patroon 
was vested with the sole jurisdiction of the colony, and 
that his authority was not subordinate to that of the 
director-general of the West India Company, nevertheless 
he willingly conceded to the latter the right to administer 
the affairs of the company elsewhere in New Netherland 
as he deemed most conducive to the interests of its 
directors. When Director Stuyvesant and some of the 
officers of the company visited Fort Orange in midsum- 
mer, Van Slechtenhorst took particular pains to honor 
the director-general's arrival and departure with a dis- 
charge of cannon, and to make his visit an event of 
considerable local importance to the settlers. ^ After the 
reception-ceremonies the director- general inspected Fort 
Orange and its surroundings. General Stuyvesant's 
military experience showed him that the fort could not 
be successfully defended against a force of Indians, for 
the buildings erected near its walls would advantageously 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Documents relating to the colonial history 
of the State of New York. vol. xiv. p. 92. 

2 "J^ly* 1648. Whereas, the council of the colony directed that the Heer 
General Pieter Stuyvesant should be honored, on his arrival and departure 
with several salutes from the Heer Patroon's three pieces of cannon, the 
director employed Jan Dirckscn van Bremen and Hans Eencluys to clean 
the same, for they were filled with earth and stones, and to load them, in 
doing which they were engaged three days, to wit : one day in cleaning 
them, the second in firing, at the arrival, and the third at Stuyvesant's 
departure, for which Van Schlectenhorst purchased twenty pounds of powder 
and expended ten guilders for beer and victuals, besides having provided the 
Heer General at his departure with some young fowls and pork." — MSS. of 


shelter the assailants. To keep the unoccupied ground 
around the fort free from further obstruction, he requested 
the authorities of Rensselaerswyck, on the twenty-third 
of July, not to erect any more buildings near the fort. 
''We request, by virtue of our commission, the com- 
mandant and court of the said colony to desist and 
refrain from building within a cannon-shot from the fort, 
until further orders or advice from our sovereigns or 
superiors, or to present to us special consent and authority 
signed by our sovereigns or superiors aforesaid, for both 
above and below [the fort] there are equally suitable, yea 
better building sites." 

The implication that the patroon of Rensselaerswyck 
could not exhibit any document containing proof of his 
proprietorship of the ground immediately surrounding 
the fort, highly incensed Van Slechtenhorst, who in a 
protest, dated the twenty-eighth day of July, claimed 
that the ground belonged to the patroon, who had pur- 
chased it from the Indians. He also asserted that '^the 
trading house of the patroon stood for a few years undis- 
turbed on the border of the moat of the fort or trading 
post," and that the land " all around the fort " had been 
for many years in '' the quiet possession" of the patroon, 
who still occupied it. ''Now comes General Petrus 
Stuyvesant," writes the irate director of the manor, 
"and attempts with improper means to prevent the 
infant patroon from improving or building on his own 
ground, which is over five hundred paces from the fort 
or trading post, within which space there are eight houses 
standing on the patroon's land ; and he threatens to bat- 
ter down these buildings with forcible means. * * * 
Therefore do I officially assert and protest * * * th^^t 
I am obstructed in the performance of my duty and 


''So far as regards the renowned fortress," remarks 
Van Slechtenhorst, "men can go in and out of it by 
night as well as by day. " He further asserts that he had 
"been more than six months in the colony and the near- 
est resident to the fort, and yet he had never been able 
to discover a single person carrying a sword, a musket or 
a pike, nor had he heard or seen a drum beat, except 
when the director-general himself visited it, with his 
soldiers, in July." 

Believing himself to be in the right in the matter of 
the ownership of the land around Fort Orange, Van 
Slechtenhorst undertook to erect a house within the 
range of a pistol-shot from its walls. When Director 
Stuy vesant learned, in September, of Van Slechtenhorst's 
open disregard of his recent order, he sent from Fort 
Amsterdam a number of soldiers and sailors to Fort 
Orange "to demolish the house with the smallest loss 
to the owners." He also instructed Carl van Brugge,^ the 
commissary of Fort Orange, that if the director of 
Rensselaerswyck should attempt to oppose him in the 
execution of the order, that he should ' ' arrest him in the 
most civil manner and detain him in confinement until 
he delivered to the commissary a copy of his commission 
and instruction, with a declaration that he, the com- 
mander" of the manor of the patroon, had "no other 
commission and instruction than those" he then ex- 

When the people of the church-neighborhood heard 
of the intended demolition of the building, they mani- 
fested their partisanship by publicly declaring that if Van 
Brugge should undertake to carry out the instructions of 
the arbitrary officer of the West India Company, that 

1 Carl van Brugge was appointed commissary of Fort Orange, November 
0, 1647. 


they would oflfer an armed resistance. ''Not only the 
colonists but also the Indians were in a great uproar." 
The latter were greatly offended with ''Wooden Leg," 
(as they designated the director-general, who wore a 
wooden leg for a lost hmb,) because he sent his dogs to 
destroy the house in which they intended to sleep when 
at Fort Orange. It is said that Van Slechtenhorst, during 
the fourteen days of the stay of the seven soldiers and 
five sailors from Fort Amsterdam, had four times more 
trouble to manage the Indians than his own partisans, 
and that he had to tell the former that they were misin- 
formed, that the house should continue to stand, and 
that they might sleep in it whenever they came to the 
fort. Van Brugge, perceiving that it would be impossi- 
ble for him to obey the director-general with so small a 
body of armed men, prudently wrote to Director Stuyve- 
sant that his orders could not be executed without loss of 
life and the shedding of blood. Having this information, 
the director-general discretely delayed taking immediate 
action in the matter and recalled the soldiers and sailors 
to Fort Amsterdam. He nevertheless sent an official 
order to Van Slechtenhorst to appear before him, on the 
fourth of April, at which time he would " be informed 
of the complaint against him." ^ 

In the summer of 1648, Domine Megapolensis, having 
served the people of the manor six years with Christian 
fidelity and pastoral love, asked for a letter of dis- 
mission^ intending to return to Holland to settle the busi- 
ness of an estate in which he was interested. The mem- 
bers of his little congregation, however^ with affectionate 
importunity prevailed upon him to remain with them 
another year. When, at last, in August, 1649, he took 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Albany records, vol. iv. fol 16 ; vol. v. 
fol. 72-83, 87-90 ; vol. vii. fol. 192-198, 204-206, 208, 217-219. 


his letter of dismission from the church of Rensselaers- 
wyck^ he was so earnestly solicited by Director Stuyve- 
sant to become the pastor of the congregation at Fort 
Amsterdam that he accepted the call. ^ He remained in 
charge of this pastorate until his death, twenty years 
later. The congregation of the church at Fort Orange, 
in the summer of 1650, requested the Rev. Wilhelmus 
Grasmeer of Grafdyck, a brother-in-law of Domine 
Megapolensis, to fill the vacant pulpit. Although 
this clergyman had left Holland without the sanction of 
the classis of Alkmaar, he was nevertheless cordially 
received by the members of the little society, whom he 
zealously served, with marked acceptance, until he sailed 
for Holland, in 1 651. ^ While Domine Grasmeer was tem- 
porarily performing the duties of a pastor of the people 
of the manor, the latter held a meeting to consider the 
practicability of building a school-house in the church- 
neighborhood. The interested colonists willingly con- 
tributed the money that was needed, and shortly after- 
ward the school-house was erected and provided with 
suitable furniture. Andreas Jansen, on the ninth of 
September, 1650, was elected teacher of the children of the 
patrons of the school, who, in the following year, tend- 
ered him a gift of twenty dollars. ^ Among the note- 
worthy incidents of the Christmas holy days {de heilige 
dagen van kersmis,) of 1650, was the marriage of PhiHp 
Pietersen Schuyler and Margritta van Slechtenhorst, the 
daughter of the director of the manor. As the church 
of Rensselaerswyck was without a lawfully called 
minister, the legal formalities, which constituted them 

1 Correspondence of classis of Amsterdam. Letters of Megapolensis, 
Aug. 15, 1648. Letter of Stuyvesant, August, 1649. Albany records, vol. 
iv. fol. 16-23, vol. vii. fol. 229, 251-256. 

'i Correspondence of classis of Amsterdam. 

^ MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 


husband and wife, were complied with, on the twenty - 
second of December, at the manor-house before Anthonie 
de Hooges, the secretary of the colony, in the presence 
of the officers of Fort Orange and Rensselaerswyck, and 
some of the residents of the church-neighborhood. ^ 

In 1651, Jan Baptiste, the third son of Kiliaen van 
Eensselaer, arrived at Fort Orange. He found the people 
of the colony and the officers and the garrison of the fort 
still at variance respecting their rights on the land sur- 
rounding Fort Orange. Denied the privilege of cutting 
fire-wood in the adjacent woods, forbidden the liberty of 
hunting and fishing within the limits of the manor, per- 
sonally estranged and prevented from mingling with the 
colonists by the animosity engendered by the continued 
disputes respecting the jurisdiction of the governor and 
of the patroon, the soldiers naturally became deeply em- 
bittered, and often manifested their vindictiveness by 
secret depredations on the property of the settlers, and 
by scurrilous vituperations when the latter came near the 
fort. The colonists were also culpable, for they not only 
insultingly called the soldiers ''Wooden Leg's dogs," 
but they were gratified to see the Indians manifest their 
contempt for them. Meanwhile Van Slechtenhorst, who 
was under arrest at Fort Amsterdam for his contumacy 
toward the governor, secreted himself on a sloop and re- 
turned to the manor. The escaped director, in order to 
make the colonists more subsei'vient to the interests of 
the patroon, induced a number of them to take the 

1 Philip Pietersen Schuyler came from Amsterdam to New Netherland 
in 1650. The children by this marriage were : Guysbert, Gertrude, (who 
married Stephanus van Cortlandt in 1671), Alida (who first married the Rev. 
Nicolaas van Rensselaer, afterward Robert Livingston), Pieter, Brant, 
Arent, Sybilla, Philip, Johannes, and Margritta. Philip Pietersen Schuyler 
died at Albany March 9, 1384, and was buried two days afterward, in a 
vault in the Dutch church, which then stood at the intersection of the 
streets now called Broadway and State Street. 


burgher-oath of allegiance, in accordance with the resolu- 
tion of the council dated November 23, 1651 :. 

'^Resolved, that all householders and freemen of the 
colony shall appear on the twenty-eighth day of Novem- 
ber of this year, being Tuesday, at the house of the 
hojiorable director, and there take the hurgerlijke oath of 

The oath was administered in the following form : 
' ' I promise and swear that I shall be true and faithful to 
the noble patroon and co-directors, or those who represent 
them here, and to the honorable director, commissioners, 
and council, subjecting myself to the court of the colony ; 
and I promise to demean myself as a good and faithful 
inhabitant or burgher, without exciting any opposition, 
tumult, or noise, but on the contrary, as a loyal inhabi- 
tant to maintain and support, offensively and defensively 
against every one, the right and the jurisdiction of the 
colony. And with reverence and fear of the Lord, and 
the uplifting of both the first fingers of the right hand, I 
say. So truly help me God Almighty." 

On the appointed day forty-five of the colonists took 
the required oath at the house of Director Van Slecht- 
enhorst. ^ 

1 "Arendt van Curler, Johan Baptist van Rensselaer, Pieter Hartgers, Jan 
Verbeeck, Sander Leendertsz, Gysbert Cornelisz van Weesp, Willem Fred- 
ericksz, Jan Michelz, Rutger Jacobszen, Goosen Gerritsz, Andres Herbertsz, 
Cornells Cornelisz. Vos, Jan van Hoesem, Jan Thomasz, Pieter Bronck, 
Jacob Jansz. van Nostrandt, Harmen Bastiaensz, Tennis Cornelisz, Jacob 
Adriaensz Raedmacker, Teunis Jacobsz, Rutger Adriaensz, Caspar Jacobsz, 
Abraham Pietersz. Vosburg, Everardus Jansz, Adriaen Pietersz. van Alk- 
maer, Thomas Jansz, Jochim Wessels Backer, Jacob Luyersz, Thomas 
Sandersz Smith, Evert Pels, — Hendricksz. Verbeeck, [A name obliter- 
eited] — van Es, Hendrick Westercamp, Thomas Keuningh, Cornells 
Segersz, Cornells Cornelisz. van Voorhout, Jan Ryersz, Jan Helms, 
Aert Jacobsz, Guysbert Cornelisz. aende Berg, Evert Jansen Kleermaker, 
Dirck Jansen Croon, Jacob Simonsz. Klomp, Volcker Jansz." — MSS. of 




While the authorities of Rensselaerswyck were en- 
deavoring to strengthen the partisanship of the people 
of the church-neighborhood, the oflRcers and soldiers of 
the West India Company grew more abusive and quar- 
relsome. Johannes Dyckman^ the vice-director of the 
company/ was not only rancorous, but so agressively 
malignant, that he became a personal terror to those 
who incurred his ill-will. The soldiers of the garrison 
meanwhile did many things to exasperate and shock the 
inhabitants of the manor. Permitted at night to go out- 
side the fort with loaded guns, they frequently congre- 
gated about the houses of the settlers, and loudly 
whooped and fired off their pieces in a manner so alarm- 
ing that often the people were as teirified as they would 
have been had their houses been surrounded by a band 
of revengeful savages. On the night of the first day of 
the year 1652, a party of soldiers, with hideous outcries, 
came before the patroon's house and began to fire their 
muskets. A piece of burning wadding fell on the reed- 
roof and set it on fire. Fortunately, only a small part of 

^ Johannes Dyckman was stationed at Fort Orange as vice-director 
of the West India Company in 1651, and held this office until July, 
1655, when he was incapacitated for the administration of its duties by 



the thatch had been consumed when the fire was discov- 
ered and extinguished. This hostile demonstration was 
the next day followed by an assault upon Van Slechten- 
horst's son. The soldiers ''not only beat him black and 
blue, but dragged him through the mud and mire, in the 
presence of Johannes Dyckman, the vice-director, who 
repeatedly cried out, 'Let him have it, now, and the 
duivel take him ! ' " Philip Pietersen Schuyler attempted 
to rescue his brother-in-law, but Dyckman, seeing him 
running toward the soldiers, intercepted him, and draw- 
ing his sword threatened to run it through him if he 
advanced a step farther. This affray caused much excite- 
ment. Van Slechtenhorst's partisans made threats that 
they would avenge the outrage. Dyckman declared that 
he would retaliate any harm done his soldiers, and 
ordered the guns of the fort to be loaded and trained 
toward the patroon's house. 

Director Stuy vesant still claiaied that the patroon had 
no right to the ground surrounding the fort within the 
range of a ball fired from a cannon, or not nearer than 
six hundred paces. He sent a proclamation to Vice- 
Director Dyckman, in which it was declared that the 
described area of land around the fort was the property 
of the West India Company. To make known the order 
of the director-general, Dyckman with a small number 
of soldiers went to the manor-house where the magis- 
trates of the colony were in session. When Van Slecht- 
enhorst learned his mission, he forthwith ordered him to 
leave the room, telling him that he had no right to come 
within the limits of the patroon's jurisdiction with an 
armed body of men. Some days afterward, the commis- 
sary, with a large number of soldiers, again repaired to 
the manor-house to demand that the director-generaPs 
proclamation should be published to the colonists by the 


officers he found there. " It shall not be done as long as 
we have a drop of blood m our vehis," they declared, 
'^ nor until we receive orders from their high mightinesses 
and our honored masters." Dyckraan, not to be frus- 
trated, ordered the patroon's bell to be rung to collect the 
colonists, that he might read the proclamation to them. 
This privilege was denied him. He then proceeded to the 
fort, had the bell rung three times, and then returned to 
the stoop of the manor-house, where he ordered his 
deputy to read the placard to the assembled people. 
When Dyckman handed the document to his subordinate, 
Van Slechtenhorst, who was watching the proceedings, 
suddenly rushed to the side of the commissary's officer 
and snatched the director-general's proclamation from 
his hands, tearing it in such a manner *'that the seals 
fell on the ground." While the exasperated commander 
of Fort Orange was loudly declaring that the patroon's 
agent should be made to suffer for this indignity, Jan 
Baptiste van Rensselaer sarcastically said to the laughing 
colonists : ^^Go home, good friends, it is only the wind 
of a cannon-ball fired six hundred paces off." 

When Director Stuy vesant heard how despitef ully his 
officers had been used by Van Slechtenhorst, he was 
greatly enraged, and on the fifth of March, 1652, sent an 
order to Vice- director Dyckman, instructing him to 
erect, at the distance of six hundred paces or about two 
hundred and fifty Rhineland rods^ from the walls of 
Fort Orange, a number of posts, marked with the com- 
pany's seal, and to affix to boards nailed on them copies 
of his proclamation, so that no person could plead ignor- 
ance concerning the boundaries of the West India Com- 
pany's land. In obedience to this order, Dyckman 

1 A Rhineland rod equalled twelve Rhineland feet, and a Rhineland foot 
12 36-100 English inches. 


planted several posts a short distance north of the 
present line of Orange street, north of Fort Orange, and 
several south of it, near the present line of Gansevoort 
street. As soon as these posts were planted, the magis- 
trates of Rensselaerswyck ordered the constable of the 
manor to remove them, and on the same day, the 
nineteenth of March, wrote a remonstrance ' ' against 
the unbecoming pretensions and attacks of the director- 
general and council of New Netherland." This defiant 
conduct made the director-general the more pertinacious 
in his purpose to vindicate the company's right to the 
ground environing Fort Orange. He informed Vice- 
director Dyckman that he would shortly visit him and 
would personally enforce obedience to his proclamation. 
When it became known that Director Stuyvesant in- 
tended personally to take steps to have his orders 
respected by the authorities of Rensselaerswyck, it was 
rumored that Dyckman had instructions to erect a 
gallows on which the contumacious agent of the patroon. 
Van Slechtenhorst, his son, and Jan Baptiste van Renssel- 
aer were to pay the penalty of their rebellious disregard 
of the director-general's commands. When Director 
Stuyvesant arrived at Fort Orange about the end of 
March, he sent^ Sergeant Litschoe with a squad of 
soldiers to the director of the manor, ordering him to 
take down the patroon's flag, which was flying above the 
territory belonging to the West India Company. This 
Van Slechtenhorst emphatically refused to do, where- 
upon '^fourteen soldiers, armed with loaded muskets" 
entered the yard of the manor-house, '^and after firing 
a volley drew down the patroon's colors." The director- 
general then proclaimed that the space included within 
the boundaries prescribed by him was the property of 

1 April 1, 1652. 



the West India Company, and designated this area of 
land surrounding the fort the Dorpe Beverswyck, (the 
beaver- district village).^ He also erected a court of 
justice having jurisdiction over the people of Fort 
Orange, the village of Beverswyck, and the neighbor- 
hood. 2 He then appointed three magistrates to hear and 
determine civil and criminal causes. ^ 

Conformably to Director Stuyvesant's order the procla- 
mation concerning his recent acts was posted up at the 
court-house of Eensselaerswyck. Van Slechtenhorst, as 
soon as he discovered the placard there, tore it down and 
put another in its place declaratory of the rights of the 
patroon. Three days afterward, on the eighteenth of 
April, the defiant director was arrested by a company of 
soldiers and imprisoned in Fort Orange, ^'^ where neither 
his children, his master, nor his friends, were allowed to 
speak to him." He was afterward taken to Fort Am- 
sterdam, where he was detained for some time under 
civil arrest. ^ 

For the site of an alms-house the director-general, on 
the twenty- third of April, conveyed to the inhabitants 
of Beverswyck the farm '' bounded north by the Fuyck 
kilP and south by the public road, west by [land occupied 
by] Jacob Janssen and east by the wagon-road," with the 

1 Do7'p, village. Bever, beaver. Wijk or wyck, refuge, ward, district, 
parish, manor. In Dutch compound names the first noun frequently takes 
an s after it. 

2 ' ' Gerechtsrolle van der Banck van J-ustitie der Fortresse Orange^ Dorpe 
Beverswyck ende appendentie van dien^ door den Eerentfesten ende Achtbaeren 
Heer^ Myn Heej^en, de Heer Direcieur Generaal en Raaden van Nienw N^eder- 
landt, den lo Aprilis A"" i6j2, in loco synde gesteltj" — Mortgage-book A. 
Albany County Clerk's office. Vide Gerechtsrolle der colonic Rensselaers- 
wyck. fol. 103—114. 

3 These officers of the court were annually appointed. 

4 Van Slechtenhorst's memorial. MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Albany 
records, vol. ix. fol. 128. 

5 Fuyck kill, the hoop-net creek, emptying now into the river near the 
foot of Hudson Avenue. This creeek was afterward called the Rutten kill- 


express condition and stipulation that the holders and 
possessors of the aforesaid farm should " acknowledge the 
directors of the West India Company as patroons under 
the sovereignty of their highnesses the States- General of 
the United Netherlands, and obey the director-general 
and his counsellors as good and faithful subjects are 
bound to do, and to pay all duties and taxes as ordered 
or to be ordered thereafter by the directors of the said 
company ; "'' '^ ^ to hold it, cultivate it, or make it 
productive to provide for the wants of the poor." ^ 

Jan Baptiste van Rensselaer now became the director 
of the manor of the patroon, ^ and Gerrit Swart was ap- 
pointed schout or sheriif of the colony.^ The Rev. 
Gideon Schaets, on the eighth of May, accepted the call 
given him by the proprietors of Rensselaerswyck^ to be- 
come the pastor of the congregation organized by Do mine 
Megapolensis in 1642. ^ 

1 MSS. of the Dutch Reformed church. Annals of Albany, by Joel 
Munsell. Albany, 1856. vol. vii. pp. 232, 233. 

2 The power of attorney to Jan Baptiste van Rensselaer bears the date 
of May 8, 1662. 

3 The commission of Gerrit Swart is dated Amsterdam, April 24, 1652, 
and signed by Johan van Rensselaer and by Giacomo Bissels for the co- 

4 The proprietors of the manor at this time, besides the patroon, were 
the co-directors Joannes de Laet, Samuel Godyn, Samuel Blommaert, Adam 
Bissels and Toussaint Mussart. MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

5 The acceptance of the call of the Rev. Gideon Schaets is dated Am- 
sterdam, May 8, 1652, and is signed by him and by Johan van Rensselaer, 
and by Toussaint Mussart, for the co-directors. One of the stipulations of 
the agreement was : "He is accepted and engaged for the period of three 
years, commencing when his reverence shall have arrived in the colony of 
Rensselaerswyck, in the ship the Flower of Gelder, his passage and board 
being free, and he shall enjoy for his salary yearly the sum of eight hundred 
guilders, which shall be paid to his reverence there through the patroon's 
and the director's commissaries ; and in case of prolongation the salary 
and allowance shall be increased in such a manner as the parties there shall 
mutually agree upon/' — MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 

The Rev. Gideon Schaets was born in 1607. His children were : 
Reynier, who was killed in the massacre at Schenectady), Bartolomeus, and 
Anneke, (who married Thomas Davidtse Kikebell). 


At this time Holland was about to declare war 
against England, for the latter had granted letters of 
reprisal to certain English ship-owners to capture the 
vessels of the Dutch found sailing on the high seas. The 
fleets of the two powers fought with each other in the 
straits of Dover on the twenty-ninth of May. The 
directors of the West India Company in their letter to 
Director Stuyvesant, dated the sixth of August, wrote : 
' ' This unexpected rupture, which we have not courted, 
induced many merchants trading to New Netherland to 
solicit us to send an express to your honor, so that you 
and the colonists might be informed of this state of 
things. "" '• ''" We warn you not to place an un- 
bounded confidence in our English inhabitants, but to 
keep a watchful eye on them, so that you may not be 
deceived by a show of service through their sinister 
machinations, as we have before been deceived. If it 
happen, which we will not yet assume, that those New 
Englanders be inclined to take part in these broils and 
injure our good inhabitants, then we should advise your 
honor to engage the Indians in your cause, who, we are 
informed, are not partial to the English. You will em- 
ploy, further, all such means of defence as prudence may 
require for your security, paying attention that the 
merchants and inhabitants convey their valuable property 
within the forts. Treat them with kindness, so that 
they may be encouraged to remain there and to abandon 
the thought of returning here, which would cause the 
depopulation of the country. It is therefore advisable to 
surround the villages, at least the principal and most 
opulent, with breastworks and palisades to prevent sur- 
prise.'' ^ 

1 Hoi. doc. vol. vi, fol. lf.5, 167, 176, 177, 190, 191. Albany records, 
vol. iv, fol. 8b-85, 87, 91 ; vol. vi. fol. 76. 


The vessel carrying these ofificial instructions was 
captured by the enemy. When the directors of the West 
India Company were apprised of the fact, they sent the 
director-general, on the thirteenth of December, a duph- 
cate of their first dispatch. When the river was navi- 
gable in the spring of 1658, Director Stuyvesant trans- 
mitted copies of the dispatches received from Holland to 
Vice-director Dyckman, ordering him to make known to 
the inhabitants of Beverswyck and the colonists of 
Rensselaerswyck the wishes of the directors of the West 
India Company. Aware of their unprotected condition, 
the people willingly labored together in making Fort 
Orange defensible. This mutual co-operation of the dis- 
affected partisans of the West India Company and those 
of the patroon greatly lessened the bitter feeling which 
had estranged them. At the request of Arendt van Curler 
representing the magistrates of the manor, and Rutger 
Jacobsen the inhabitants of Beverswyck, the director 
and council of New Netherland commanded that after 
the fort had been ]*epaired that all the inhabitants of 
Fort Orange and of Beverswyck should assist those of 
the colony in strengthening the redoubt oi* block-house 
which the patroon had built. 

When the news reached the city of New Amsterdam, 
as the village at Fort Amsterdam was now called, on the 
sixteenth of July, 1654, that peace had been declared 
between England and HoJland, the citizens were unex- 
pectedly relieved from the fear of an invasion of New 
Netherland by the English. The director-general issued 
a ]jroclamation enjoining the people of the country to 
observe Wednesday, the twelfth of August, as a day of 
thanksgiving and pi'ayer, when they were to assemble 
''on that da3\ in the forenoon, at the place where the 
v/ord of God" was ''preached, and this being heard, to 


praise the only good and merciful God, to thank him 
and glorify him, most of all for the desirable peace and 
union between the two countries as well as for God's 
merciful providence in protecting the inhabitants of the 
province." The highly delighted director exultingly said : 
''Praise the Lord, England's Jerusalem and Nether- 
land's Zion, praise ye the Lord ! He hath secured your 
gates and blessed your possessions with peace, even here, 
where the threatened torch of war was lighted, where 
the waves reached our lips and subsided only through 
the power of the Almighty." ^ 

Although Director Stuyvesant had, in 1(>52, forbidden 
the erection of any more houses between the Bever kill 
and the Fuyck kill, he afterward, on the thirtieth of 
April, 1654, granted permissio'n to Adriaen Jansen Appel 
of Ley den to build a house " near the palisades of Thomas 
Jansen," on the condition that it was '' not to be used 
for a tippling house, but for a tavern or boarding- 
house ^ -^ ^ for the accommodation of freemen and 

In June, 1655, Jahannes de Decker was intrusted with 
the administration of the West India Company's affairs at 
Fort Orange. ^ At this time the duties imposed by the 
company on certain articles sold by the people in the fort, 
in Beverswyck and in Eensselaerswyck were collected, 
as was the custom in Holland, by speculators who pur- 
chased the privilege of appropriating the moneys received 
by paying a stipulated sum to the magistrates of the 
justices' court. On the twenty-third of April, Marcelus 
Jansen being the highest bidder at the public sale of the 

1 Albany records, vol. ix. fol. 71, 132-160, 166-171, 179-183 ; vol. xi. 
fol. 12. New Amsterdam records. 

'"Albany records, vol. ix. p. 126. 

'^ Johannes de Decker was appointed to succeed Vice-director Dyckman 
June 21, 1655, and held the office until the fall of 1656. 


tapsters' excise for the following twelve months, and 
having given bonds for the payment of two thousand 
and thirty guilders ''in good strung zee wan '■ to the 
commissioners, was officially declared to be the collector 
of this particular duty. Each tapster was required by the 
West India Company to pay four guilders on a tun of 
home-brewed beer sold at retail, six guilders on one of im- 
ported beer, the same on a hogshead of French or Rhenish 
wine, and sixteen guilders on an anker of brandy^ or 
distilled waters, malmsey, Spanish and Canary wines. 
The collector of the annual slaughter excise, which in 
1657 was purchased for the sum of seven hundred and 
twelve guilders, received a stuiver for ever}^ guilder of 
the value of the slaughtered animal sold at Fort Orange, 
in the village of Beverswyck and neighborhood. The col- 
lection of duties on peltry was also farmed out. ^ 

When Vice-director De Decker undertook the manage- 
ment of the company's affairs at Fort Orange, the public 
tapsters of the colony refused to allow the collector of 
the liquor-excise to guage the wine and beer in their 
possession. This they had been advised to do by Jan 
Baptiste van Rensselaer, who asserted that the West 
India Company had no right to impose the duty, on the 
ground that the money collected was not used afterward 
for the benefit of the people. It was proposed by the 
director of the manor that the matter should be left to 
the decision of impartial judges, but to this the director- 
general and the council of New Netherland would not 
accede, declaring their high office and quality would 
not permit them 'Ho stoop so low as to enter the lists 
with their subjects and vassals, much less to answer 

^ There were thirty-two mingles, or ten and a half gallons contained in 
an an kef . 

2 In 1658, 87,640 beaver-skins and 300 otter-skins were shipped from Fort 
Orange and its neighborhood. 


their frivolous and unfounded protests with a pusillani- 
mous deference," and that it was their duty 'Ho punish 
the offenders. " Jan Baptiste van Rensselaer having incited 
this opposition, the director and council ordered that he 
should give a bond of three thousand guilders for the 
personal appearance of the contumacious tapsters at New 
Amsterdam, or if he failed to do it, that he should be 
placed under civil arrest and be detained there. Shortly 
thereafter the tapsters personally appeared before the 
director-general and council, one being required to pay a 
fine of two hundred pounds or be banished from the 
province, the other eight hundred guilders. Subsequently 
the patroon, to fulfill the promises of Jan Baptiste van 
Rensselaer, paid the two fines. ^ 

Considerable expense was incurred in removing the 
buildings around Fort Orange to the new site of the village 
between the Fuyck and Vossen kills. '^ This, however, 
was partly met by a contribution of the willing, people. 
The few who formed the opposition were proportionately 
taxed, and thus the orders of the director-general and 
council of New Netherland were satisfactorily executed 
by the magistrates of the court of Fort Orange and 
Beverswyck. The distance of the village from the fort 
and the church suggested the construction of a large block- 
house, which, should the Indians at any time become 
hostile, would be a convenient and defensible refuge, 
and while they were friendly could be used as a place of 
public worship. Moved by these considerations the people 
of Beverswyck and Rensselaerswyck unitedly undertook 
to erect the desired building. The patroon and the co- 

1 Albany records, vol. x. fol. 68 ; vol. xi. fol. 409, 410, 415-420, 445-447, 
466-470, 488-499 ; vol. xiii. fol. 72, 221-223 ; vol. xviii. fol. 83. MSS. of 
Rensselaerswyck. Collections on the history of Albany. Munsell. vol. iii. 
pp. 237-243. 

2 The Vossen (Fox) kill, called also the Third kill, emptied into the river 
a little north of the present line of Columbia Street. 


directors of Rensselaerswyck, on the eighteenth of 
February, 1656, subscribed one thousand guilders to 
defray a part of the expenses, and the magistrates of the 
court of Fort Orange and Beverswyck contributed fifteen 
hundred more from moneys paid for fines imposed by 
them. On the tenth of March, the latter officers ad- 
dressed a letter to the director-general and council of 
New Netherland, in which they petitioned them ''to 
solicit and influence the inhabitants of the city of New 
Amsterdam to a liberal contribution " for the building of 
a church, '^ inasmuch as on similar and other occasions, 
especially to the church there," they and the people of 
Beverswyck and Rensselaerswyck had given and contrib- 
uted according to their ability. Receidng no reply to this 
request, the magistrates wrote a second communication 
on the eighth of April to the officers of the government, 
in which they said : ''We are much surprised that no 
answer to our last letter, at least none on the subject of 
our expected collection there, has been received by us 
assuring good success for it.'' When they contracted for 
the building of the ''blockhouse-church," and made 
themselves liable for *'the heavy expenses," their "ex- 
pectation and hope in the beginning were set very 
greatly " on obtaining help from the people of New Am- 
sterdam ; therefore, as they said, "in the event of a 
failure we should be very much disturbed and distressed ; 
even if every thing should turn oat for the best, it would 
be very difficult to collect the remainder from the church 

The site selected for the building was at the intersec- 
tion of two roads, one of which (now State Street) was 
at first called Jonkers Straat, and the other, (now Broad- 
way,) Handelaars Straat." On the second day of June 

1 Collections on the history of Albany. Munsell. vol. iv. pp. 239, 240. 
~ Jonker^ a boy, a beau. Handelaar, a trader. Straat, a street. 


the corner-stone was laid in the presence of the magis- 
trates of Fort Orange and Beverswyck and those of 
Rensselaerswyck^ and a large assemblage of the inhabi- 
tants of the village and manor. Domine Schaets con- 
ducted the religious services, and Rutger Jacobsen, one 
of the magistrates, placed the stone in position. ^ 

Built like a block-house of the period, the church was 
loop-holed, and on it were placed three small cannon to 
command the three roads running northward, westward 
and southward from it. In 1657, the bell presented by 
the directors of the Amsterdam chamber of the West 
India Company to the congregation was hung in the 
belfry. Twenty-five beaver-skins contributed to pur- 
chase a pulpit were sent to Holland for this purpose, but 
their value was insufficient to obtain the predickstoeL 
The directors of the Amsterdam chamber '' to inspire the 
congregation with more ardent zeal, advanced seventy- 
five guilders for, the pulpit, which was sent to Bevers- 
wyck in a vessel which sailed some time after the depar- 
ture of the one conveying the bell. ^ 

1 " In Beverswyck, 1656,^on the thirteenth of May, we the undersigned, 
magistrates, acknowledge that we have contracted and agreed with Jan van 
Aecken that we shall have the liberty to set the church so far on his smithy 
as the width of the door, on condition that we set up his house according to 
the direction of Rem Janssen, and leave a suitable lot for the bakery and re- 
move the large house at our own expense. Was subscribed : 

" Rutger Jacobsen. 
"Andries Herbertsex. 
" Jacob Janse Schermerhoorn. This is the mark H of Goosen Gerritse. 
" Philip Pieterse. " Dirck Janssen Croon. 

"This is the mark J(7 of Jan van Aecken." 
Collections on the historv of Albany. Munsell. vol. iv. p. 406. MSS. of 

2 " In this vessel, the Gilt Mill, i^Vei-gulde Meulen,) is sent a small bell, 
{klockje kei'kje,) which had been solicited by the inhabitants of Fort Orange 
and the village of Beverswyck for their newly-built little church. Whereas 
the twenty-five beaver-skins which were brought here by Dirck Janssen 
Croon were greatly damaged, which he intended to defray from their sale 
the payment of a pulpit, piedickstoel, and by which misfortune this sum was 
not sufficient, so we listened to his pursuasion and advanced him seventy 


The congregation worshiping in the new ' ' preaching- 
house " in 1657, it is said, was almost as large as that of 
the church in the city of New Amsterdam. ^ 

Although the greater number of the inhabitants of 
Beverswyck, at this time, were believers of the doctrines 
promulgated by the synod of Dort, there were some who 
were governed by those contained in the Augsburg con- 
fession. Having no church-building, the Lutherans 
began to hold religious services in the houses of the 
different persons of their denomination. The separation 
of these people from the congregation of the Reformed 
church was looked upon as a reprehensible and unlawful 
proceeding by some of the members of the latter society. 
They appealed to Vice-director De Decker to forbid the 
meetings of the Lutherans. The officer of the West 
India Company accordingly issued an order interdicting 
them. But the Lutherans ignored his authority in the 
matter. This insubordination was punished by the 
imposition of the published penalties. The irrepressible 
Lutherans continued their congregational services. The 
magistrates of the court of Fort Orange and Beverswyck 
thinking the jurisdiction exercised by them might not 
commend them to the director-general and council of 

five guilders purposely to inspire the congregation with more ardent zeal." — 
Letter of the directors of the West India Company to Director Stuyvesant, 
April 1, 1657. Albany records, vol. iv. fol. 233. 

"On the tenth of August, 1657, paid by Dirk Ben Slick to Francois Boon 
for work on the pulpit and the bell, 82 florins." Albany records, vol. vi. p. 
206. This pulpit is now in one of the rooms of the First Reformed 
church, on the southwest corner of North Pearl and Orange Streets. 

1 Domines Megapolensis and Drisius, writing to the classis of Amsterdam 
from the city of New Amsterdam, on the fifth of August, 1657, say : "Last 
year Domine Gideon Schaats wrote to your reverences concerning the con- 
gregation in Rensselaerswyck and Beverswyck, as he also shall again. 

"The condition of the congregation there is most gratifying; it grows 
stronger apace, so as to be almost as strong as we are here at Manhattan. 
They built last year a handsome preaching-house." — Doc, hist. N. Y. vol. 
iii. p. 70. 


New Netherlands wrote to the latter, on the tenth of 
March, 1656, saying: ''This goes with a copy of a 
certain placard against the congregation of certain 
persons of the Lutheran sect, published and executed by 
us against the transgressors and disobedient. We will 
await your earliest approbation, and further request the 
wise counsel of your honors how we must conduct our- 
selves on such an occasion."^ 

The intolerance manifested toward the Lutherans in 
Beverswyck disallowed them the privilege which they 
had previously enjoyed in Holland. For there, although 
the members of the Eeformed church were the only 
persons permitted to hold religious services in buildings 
specially set apart for public worship, the people of other 
denominations were allowed to meet in private houses 
and to worship God according to the dictates of their 
own consciences and rules of faith. When the aggrieved 
Lutherans complained to the Holland directors of the 
West India Company of this abridgement of their privi- 
leges, the latter wrote to Director Stuyvesant saying : 
" We should also have been better pleased had you not 
published our placard against the Lutherans, which was 
chiefly intended for your instruction, much less can we 
approve the ex'cess in committing them to prison as they 
complain to us respecting it, for it has been our constant 
intention to treat them with lenity and moderation. 
Therefore from this time forward you will not publish 
any similar placards without our previous consent, but 
permit every one the free exercise of his religion within 
his own house.'' ^ 

The exclusive privileges of citizenship {burghers 
rechf) conferred on certain male inhabitants of the city 

1 Collections on the history of Albany. Munsell. vol. iv. p. 289. 
8 Albany records, vol iv. fol. 130, 212; vol. viii. fol. 170; vol. xiii. 
fol. 240. 


of New Amsterdam were first granted under a law 
enacted the second of February, 1657. By it all pro- 
v^incial, municipal, manorial, and military officers, and 
ministers of the gospel, and their male descendants, and 
all other male citizens desiring the privileges and benefits 
which it conferred, were recognized as great burghers on 
the payment of the sum of fifty guilders to the burgo- 
masters of the city. All native-born citizens, those 
who had resided in the city and had kept fire and light 
there for one year and six weeks, those who had 
married or should marry the native-born daughters of 
burghers, and those who were keepers of shoj)s and 
pursued any business in the city, who paid twenty 
guilders, were recognized as smah burghers. Those who 
were enrolled as great burghers were entitled to hold 
office and were exempt from confiscation of property 
and attainder when convicted for capital offences. Those 
who were small burghers had the liberty to trade and 
transact business, and were eligible for admission into 
guilds established for the advancement of particular 
mercantile and manufacturing interests. ^ 

After the enactment of this law not only did many of 
the citizens of the city of New Amsterdam avail them- 
selves of the privilege granted by it, but also many of the 
principal men of the village of Beverswyck. 

The fire-arms and ammunition furnished to the mur- 
derous Mohawks returned such large profits to those 
clandestinely engaged in the nefarious business that the 
covetous West India Company was soon tempted to 
provide the warriors of the tribe with muskets, powder, 
and lead. As early as the twenty-fifth of February, 
1654, the director-general and council of New Netherland 
undertook to veil the company's avaricious intention by 

1 Albany records, vol. vii. fol. 889-392 ; vol. xv. fol. 64. 


speciously representing that their action in the matter 
was solely taken to avert evil. They said : ' ' The honor- 
able director-general and council having been informed 
and advised of the scarcity of powder and lead among 
the Maquaas nation, and of the continual demands 
which its people make on the inhabitants of Fort 
Orange, the village of Beverswyck, and the colony, and 
have further considered that if this ammunition were 
entirely and suddenly denied to the said nation, the good 
people of the said village and places might have to suffer 
some mishap, or at least that the whole trade might 
thereby be diverted and that the said nation might ask for 
ammunition from the English, our neighbors, and obtain 
it, a step at this critical juncture of affairs which would 
bring more and greater misfortune on this province ; 
and as the said Maquaas are now our good friends, who, 
wanting ammunition, are obliged to look for it among 
our neighbors, from whom, also, they can get a large 
quantity of wampum for their beavers ; "" ^ -^ the con- 
sequence would likely be that with this loss of their trade 
we would also lose the friendship of the Maquaas, and 
thereby bring more misfortune upon us and our nation, 
therefore we "^ ^^ ^^ have thought and deemed it proper 
and highly necessary, pursuant to the order and direction 
of the honorable company, to accommodate the said 
nation with a moderate trade in ammunition, to wit, 
powder and lead^ and to have the same sold to them for 
the present by Eutger Jacobsen, an official of Fort 
Orange and the village of Beverswyck, but as sparingly 
and secretly as possible, for reasons and motives which 
in time, if it is necessary and required, shall be commu- 
nicated to the honorable lord directors of the incorporated 
West India Company. " ^ 

1 Ftde Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. xiii. pp. 35, 36. 


The aggressive belligerence of the Mohawks not in- 
frequently endangered the safety of their palisaded 
villages. In June, 1657, the fear of an assault by the 
warriors of the Seneca nation caused the Mohawks to 
send a number of their sachems or chiefs to Fort Orange 
to ask Vice-director La Montague^ "to accommodate 
them with a few horses to haul palisades from the woods 
to repair their castles," and to shelter their wives and 
children in the village of Beverswyck ''should they go 
to war with the Sinnekes." They further desired their 
Dutch friends to ' ' assist each of their palisaded villages 
with a cannon, " and to haul the cannon from the fort 
to the flats, ''a distance of eight miles," for, as 
was said by the chiefs, the three villages belonged 
to the same tribe, and they were bound to help 
one another in time of need, which could be done only, 
with difficulty if they had no cannon to alarm them in 
time of distress. The answer of the magistrates to the 
first request of the Mohawk chiefs was "that they had 
no horses of their own, but if they wished to hire a 
number of horses then the court would try to induce 
some of the inhabitants to help them." They also told 
them that they were willing to take care of their wives 
and children for the sake of their old friendship, but 
hoped that it would not be necessary. In answer to the 
request for cannon, the officers of the court informed 
the sachems "that the cannon did not belong to them, 
but to their chief, " who had given them for the defense 
of the fort, so that they could not give them away nor 
lend them without his consent, but that they would 
write to the director-general and await his answer. "^ 

The Mohawks in their predatory forays along the 

1 Johannes de la Montagne was appointed vice-director September 28, 
1656, and held this office until October, 1664. 

2 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. xiii. pp. 72, 73. 


borders of Canada had so often reduced to ashes the 
dweUings and barns of the toihng settlers and had so 
repeatedly massacred and subjected to cruel captivities 
the unprotected inhabitants of the wide territory, that 
the French determined to revenge themselves upon their 
crafty, ruthless, and bloody-minded enemy. Early in 
the fall of 1659 the Mohawks began to be alarmed by 
the intimations that the maltreated French intended to 
invade their country. Aware of the exposed condition 
of their villages they sent a delegation of their chiefs to 
Fort Orange again to ask their Dutch friends to assist 
the tribe in planting palisades and to mend the unservice- 
able muskets of their warriors. In the conference of the 
Mohawk chiefs with the magistrates of the courts of 
Fort Orange and Beverswyck and Rensselaerswyck, the 
Indian orator said: ''The Dutch call us brothers and 
declare that we and they are joined together with chains, 
but that lasts only as long as we have beavers ; after that 
no attention is paid us. '' "' -* We have heard of the 
coming of our enemies, the French. If we drink too 
much liquor we cannot fight. We therefore desire you 
not to sell any brandy to our people, but to put the bung 
in our casks. "' *^' ^ When we go away now, we shall 
take away a considerable quantity of brandy, and after 
that no more, for we will burn our kegs. *^" ^ ^ We 
desire that the smiths should repair our things, even 
when our people have no money, or let them have much 
or little wampum. '^' ^ -* We ask that the gunmakers 
shall hurry making the guns and not let us wait so long 
and lose time. When we come from the country and the 
muskets are all repaired, we have no powder. You must 
therefore give us some powder, and when the enemy 
comes you must be willing to help us. You are too timid. 
Send fifty or sixty men to assist us. * * ^ Look at 


the French and see what they do for their savages when 
they are in distress. Do as they do and help us to repair 
our paUsades. ^ ^ ^ Come to us with thirty men and 
with horses to chop and carry wood to our stockades and 
assist in repairing them. The Dutch can drag their wood- 
sleds into the country." 

This appeal was accompanied with gifts of peltry, 
beaver-coats, and wampum, for which the anxious 
solicitants said they wished no presents in return. Fifty 
guilders in wampum were nevertheless distributed among 
the indigent Mohawks by the discreet magistrates. The 
importuning chiefs were told by the Dutch officials that 
they could not take any action in answer to their requests 
until the same were made known to the director-general. 
After the Wilden had departed it was determined that a 
number of the principal men of Beverswyck and Renssel- 
aerswyck should visit the disquieted Mohawks, at their 
first village, called Kaghnuwage, about forty miles west 
of Fort Orange, on Cayadutta creek, near its confluence 
with the Mohawk river. Twenty-five men were there- 
fore delegated to go on horseback to the village and to 
enter into a new treaty with the alarmed Mohawks while 
such favorable circumstances existed to ratify one. 
Among the persons comj)osing the deputation were 
Jeremias van Rensselaer,^ Arendt van Curler, Philip 
Pieterse Schuyler, Volckert Jansen,^ Francois Boon, 
Dirck Jansen Croon, Johannes Provoost, ^ Adrian Gerrit- 
sen, Andries Herbertsen, and Jan Tomassen. On the 

1 Jeremias van Rensselaer, the second son of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, 
succeeded his brother, Jan Baptiste, as director of the manor in 1658. 

2 Volckert Jansen Douw settled in Rensselaerswyck about the year 1638. 
At a very early date he purchased the plot of ground, then the southwest 
corner of Jonker and Handelaar Streets, now that of Broadway and State 
Street, which property is still in the possession of his descendants. 

3 Johannes Provoost was a clerk at Fort Orange during Vice-director 
Johannes de la Montague's term of office. 



twenty -fourth of September the chiefs of the three 
Mohawk villages lighted a council-fire and gathered 
around it to listen to the words of the Dutch delegates. 
The speaker said : 

''Brothers, we have come here only to renew our old 
friendship and brotherhood. You must tell it to your 
children. Ours will know it for all time to come, and 
will be reminded of it by the writings which we shall 
bequeath to them. We shall die, but these will remain, 
and from them they will learn that we have hved with 
our brothers in peace. 

'^Brothers, we could not bring any cloth, for we 
could not get men to carry it. Merchandise cannot buy 
friendship. Our heart has always been good and still 
continues to be. If that is of no value to you, then we 
come not to purchase friendship even if the land were 
full of merchandise and beavers. -^ ^ ^ 

''Brothers^ sixteen years have passed since you and 
the Dutch made the first treaty of friendship and broth- 
erhood that joined us together with an iron chain. ^ Since 
that time it has not been broken either by us or by 
our brothers, and we have no fear that it will be broken 
by either of us. We will, therefore, not speak of it any 
more, but will always live as if we had one heart. * ^ ^ 

''Brothers, eighteen days ago you were with us and 
made your proposals to your Dutch brothers. We did 
not give you a definite answer then for we were expect- 
ing Chief Stuyvesant and we promised to inform you 
when he should have arrived. He is now sick and can 
not come. What we now say is ordered by Chief 
Stuyvesant, by all the other chiefs, and by all the Dutch 
and their children. * * * 

1 Evidently the treaty made by Director Kieft, in July, 1645, at Fort 


''Brothers, we speak for this and all future time, in 
our own behalf and in behalf of all the Dutch now in 
the country or who may yet come, and in behalf of all 
the children, for we cannot come here every day, as the 
roads are very bad for traveling. Hereafter you must 
have no doubt of our remaining always brothers. When- 
ever some tribe or any savages, whoever they be, come 
to incite you to war and say that the Dutch intend to 
fight against you, do not regard them, do not believe 
them, but tell them they lie. We shall say the same of 
you if they tell the same of our brothers. We shall not 
believe any prattlers, neither shall we fight against you, 
nor will we leave you in distress if we are able to help 
you. But we cannot compel our smiths and gunmakers 
to repair the muskets of our brothers without pay, for 
the gunsmiths must earn food for their wives and chil- 
dren, who otherwise would perish from hunger. If the 
smiths were to receive no wampum for their work they 
would remove from our country, and then we and our 
brothers would be much embarrassed. "^" ^ * 

'^Brothers, eighteen days ago you requested us not 
to sell brandy to your people and to bung our casks. 
Brothers, do not allow your people to come to us for 
brandy and none shall be sold them. Only two days ago 
we met twenty to thirty kegs on the road all going to 
obtain brandy. Our chiefs are very angry because the 
Dutch sell brandy to your people, and always forbid our 
people to do it. Now forbid your people to buy brandy. 
If you desire that we should take the brandy and the 
kegs containing it from your people, say it before all 
these people, and if we afterward do it you must not be 
angry. ^ ^ ^ 

" Brothers, we now give you a present of powder and 
lead, which you must not waste if you want to attack 


your enemies. Rightly use it and divide it among your 
young men. •' '^ "^ 

''Brothers, we see that you are very busy cutting 
wood to build your fort. You asked us for horses to haul 
wood, but horses cannot do it, for the hills are too high 
and steep, and your Dutch brothers cannot carry the 
wood because they have become too weak in marching 
to this place, as you may perceive by looking at them. 
^ ^ - Inasmuch as our brothers sometimes break their 
axes in cutting wood, we now present you with fifteen 

^^ Brothers, as some of your people and some Mahi- 
canders and Sinnekus sometimes kill our horses, cows, 
pigs and goats, we ask our brothers to forbid their people 
to do it." 

The gifts presented to the Mohawk chiefs were eleven 
boxes of wampum, seventy-five pounds of powder, one 
hundred of lead, fifteen axes, and some knives valued at 
two beaver-skins. The friendly declarations of the dele- 
gates accompanied with these valuable presents were 
gratefully received by the needy sachems, who consented 
that the brandy-kegs in their villages should be taken 
from them by their Dutch brothers. 

At the close of the conference a letter was received 
from Vice-director La Montague, informing the commis- 
sioners that some of the River Indians had attacked the 
settlers at Esopus, and had burned their dwellings, barns, 
and grain. When this information was given to the 
Mohawks they with one accord declared that should any 
of the Esopus or other River Indians come to them with 
presents and ask them to fight against the Dutch that 
they would kick them and say: ''Begone you beasts, 
you pigs, depart from us, we vvill have nothing to 
do with you.'' Satisfied that the Mohawks would faith- 


fully honor their renewed covenants of friendship and 
amity, the delegates returned to Fort Orange on the 
twenty -fifth of September. ^ 

The hostile attitude of the Eiver Indians filled the 
minds of the people of Beverswyck and Eensselaerswyck 
with many disturbing apprehensions of impending evil. 
Ignorant of the designs of the savages the inhabitants 
of Beverswyck determined to inclose the village with a 
fence of planks and palisades. The alarmed people 
vigorously prosecuted this undertaking, and in the 
spring of 1(^60 completed the defensive works (deffentie). 
The fence according to present metes and bounds 
extended northwardly along the bank of the river 
from the foot of Hudson Avenue to the site of the 
passenger-depot of the Delaware and Hudson Canal 
Company's railroad. Thence it ran westwardly to the 
southwest corner of the Delavan House. Slightly de- 
flected it passed to a point in North Pearl Street, about 
one hundred and ninety-two feet north of Maiden Lane. 
Its extension up the hill terminated at a point on State 
Street, near Lodge Street. Descending, the fence reached 
a point on South Pearl Street, near Beaver Street, thence 
it extended to Green Street, about seventy-five feet 
north of Hudson Avenue, thence to the intersection of 
Broadway and Hudson Avenue, and thence to the bank 
of the river, near the mouth of the Fuyck kill. Gates 
were placed at the ends of the different streets and a 
number of guard-houses built outside them. The expense 
incurred in the erection of these defenses was partly 

1 The following memoranda form a part of the history of the treaty with 
the Mohawks: "For the hire of a horse for Johannes Provoost, the com- 
pany's servant, 25 florins. Spent by the committee for French wine when 
they departed and returned, 15 florins. To Rutger Jacobsen, for nine cans 
of brandy to be delivered to the delegates as presents to the savages, 36 
florins. For presents to the Maquaas, 656,10 florins." — MSS. of Rensselaers- 
wyck. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. xiii. pp. 112, 113. 


liquidated by an annual tax of three guilders on each 
chimney in the village. ^ 

When summer came the fears of the settlers respect- 
ing an attack from the Eiver Indians were quieted by a 
treaty of peace made on the fifteenth of July, at Esopus, 
with the chiefs of the disaffected savages. 

The active competition to obtain peltry from the 
Indians led many of the traders and settlers to employ a 
class of middle-men called boschloopers (wood-runners) 
to frequent the trails and villages of the Wilden. These 
unscrupulous agents used all the means at their command 
to induce the Indians to sell their peltry to them. 
Watched, intercepted, importuned, pulled about and 
maltreated, the harrassed Indians began to complain to 
the Dutch authorities, declaring that whenever any one 
of their number was seen with a beaver-skin he was im- 
mediately surrounded by ten or twelve runners, each of 
whom did his best to get him into his possession by taking 
hold of him and saying, ''Come with me, that and that 
person has nothing to buy furs with," and that at such 
times they were often kicked, cuffed and thrown down 
by the contending competitors. The court, therefore, 
published a placard prohibiting the employment of run- 
ners and forbidding the settlers to lure Indians having 
peltry to their houses. On the publication of this order 
eighty of the inhabitants of Beverswyck petitioned the 
magistrates to rescind it, asserting that those who favored 
it were "a. few individuals who, swayed by an inordi- 
nate love of money and jealousy in trade, imagined to 
improve it in this manner," and wished, by using "a 
frivolous pretext, to appropriate under this cloak the 
whole trade to themselves." The petitioners, therefore, 

1 Fort Orange Ordinance, July 25, 1660. Vide Laws and ordinances 
uf New Netherland, 1638-16H. By E. B. O'Callaghan. Albany, 1868. 


requested that every one might ^'be permitted to exert 
himself to the utmost, through the agency of Christians 
or savages, to save themselves and enable them to pay to 
every one his due, to love their neighbors and promote 
their own eternal happiness." 

The magistrates comphed and rescinded the restrictive 
resolution, *' protesting meanwhile to be innocent of any 
calamities" that might befall the people, '^ since some of 
the petitioners had declared that it was their determina- 
tion to do what they had asked whether or not it were 
granted them." The action of the vacillating magistrates 
was annulled shortly afterward by Director Stuyvesant. 

The attention of the director-general was called to 
the evil consequences hkely to result from the reprehen- 
sible practices of the wood runners not only by some of 
the less mercenary inhabitants of Beverswyck, but also 
by the Seneca Indians in their conference with him, at 
Fort Orange, on the twenty-fifth of July^ 1660. The 
latter made a special request that they might be pro- 
tected from the rough usage of the hoschloopers. Their 
interpreter said: ''They request that they may barter 
their beavers at pleasure and may not be locked up 
by the Dutch, but may go with their beavers where they 
please, without being beaten. They say : ' When we are 
sometimes in a trader's house and wish to go to another's 
to buy goods which suit us, then we get a good beating, 
so that we do not know where our eyes are. This conduct 
ought not to continue ; each ought to be allowed to go 
where he pleases and where the goods suit him best.' 
They say : ' The Dutch send so many brokers into the 
woods from one house that they do not know where to 
go with their beavers. Each trader ought to have some 
of their peltry.' " 

The director-general in reply to these complaints of 


the Senecas said : ''Our brothers inform us that their 
beavers are locked up when they come into the houses. 
We forbade our people to do so three days ago, and our 
brothers may go with their beavers where they please. 

''Brothers, if any Dutchman beats you, come to the 
sachems and make a complaint ; and if any Dutch 
trader keeps or locks up your beavers they will see that 
you get them back. 

''Brothers, it is well that each one goes now with his 
beavers where he likes, and no brokers shall henceforth 
be sent into the woods. -^ '^ ^^' You need not Usten 
any longer to these runners, but beat them on the head 
until it can no longer be seen where their eyes were."^ 

The possession of fire-arms had given the Mohawks 
an acknowledged dominance over many of the other 
Indian tribes of New Netherland. This acquired power 
made the former very arrogant. The tribal imperious- 
ness of the Mohawks did not escape the observation of 
the Dutch. When the directors of the West India 
Company suggested the use of the Mohawk warriors to 
punish and reduce the Esopus Indians, Director Stuyve- 
sant wrote them that it would be a dangerous experi- 
ment, for the Maquaas were " a vain-glorious, proud and 
bold tribe, made quite haughty by their continued 
victories and advantages over the Fiench themselves and 
the French Indians in Canada. If we were to ask them 
to aid us and they consented and success followed, they 
would exalt themselves to our belittlement in the eyes of 
the other Indians ; and if we did not afterward reward 
them in a manner satisfactory to their greedy appetites 
and did not continue our gifts, we would hear ourselves 
constantly upbraided ; and if we retorted, it might lead 

1 Albany records, vol. vi. fol. 236-238, 254, 257-261, 270-283 ; vol. xxiv. 
fol. 348-362. 


to an embroilment. For these and many other considera- 
tions," said the sagacious director, '^it is best to stand as 
long as possible on our own feet and to pray the good 
God for a happy deliverance. " ^ 

In the spring of 1662, about three hundred Mohawks 
made a foray along the upper waters of the Kennebec 
and Penobscot rivers. At Fort Penobscot they surprised 
a party of Albenaquis, a.nd afterward killed a number of 
cattle belonging to the English and committed other 
depredations. The governors of Boston and Nova Scotia 
in August sent two commissioners to Fort Orange, who 
in the presence of Director Stuyvesant held a conference 
with some of the chiefs of the Mohawks. When the 
latter were asked why their warriors had broken the 
covenants which the English had made the previous year 
with the tribe, they answered that they had not entered 
into any treaty with the Northern Indians, and that they 
were willing to pay the English for the property des- 
troyed. The Mohawks, having made these answers with 
considerable surliness, huffishly left the room, and after- 
ward, in conversation with some of the inhabitants of 
Beverswyck, declared that the English commissioners 
were no better than hogs, and that they did not care for 
the English, and if they did not at once accept their 
overtures that 'Hhey would in three weeks go to the 
frontier plantations of Connecticut and pillage them, and 
dividing themselves into companies of ten, or twelve, 
rove through the country setting fire to remote houses 
and destroying what they could." At the afternoon con- 
ference the Mohawk chiefs were more tractable, and 
agreed to indemnify the Enghsh for their losses, to treat 
with the Northern Indians, and to take into consideration 
the release of the captured Albenaquis. 

1 Albany records, vol. iv. fol. 331 ; vol. xvi. fol. 101, 103, 106, 107 ; vol. 
viii. fol. 54-60, 69, 102, 103. MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. 


It was about this time that three Frenchmen escaped 
from a war-party of Mohawks and Oneidas, who had 
attacked an outpost near Montreal, and killed fourteen 
French soldiers and eighty Indians. The three famished 
Frenchmen, having had no other food for nine days than 
the bark of trees and wild vegetables, reached Bevers- 
wyck, where they were kindly cared for, secreted for a 
number of days, and then sent in a vessel to Canada. ^ 

A number of the inhabitants of Beverswyck and 
Rensselaerswyck conceiving that they would be more 
advantageously situated, as farmers and traders, were 
they to occupy the Groote Vlachte (Great Flat), as the 
site of Schenectady was then called by the Dutch^ dele- 
gated Arendt van Curler to obtain from the West India 
Company the privilege of purchasing the tract from the 
Indian owners and of settling upon it. Van Curler went 
to New Amsterdam and presented to the director-general 
and council of New Netherland the petition. On the 
twenty -third of June, 1661, the request of the petitioners 
was formally granted, on the condition that the land 
when purchased should be transferred and conveyed, as 
was customary, to the director-general and council repre- 
senting the directors of the West India Company, and 
that whatever the petitioners should pay for the land 
should ' ' in due time be refunded to them or be credited 
to them against the taxes. " Willing to comply with this 
provision, the petitioners, with Arendt van Curler, pur- 
chased on the twenty -seventh of July, at Fort Orange, 
the parcel of land which the Indians called Schonowe. ^ 

1 True relation of the Maques coming to Penobscot fort. Albany records, 
vol. XX. fol. 178, 184-189, 191-194, Hoi. doc. vol. xi. fol. 211. Relation 

2 Three of the Mohawk chiefs conveying the land to Arendt van Curler 
(Sieur Arent van Corlear, as it is written in the instrument), respectively 
drew the figures of a bear, a turtle, and a wolf, as their marks to the docu- 
ment, to designate the particular family to which they severally belonged. 


The fur traders of Beverswyck and of Renssselaers- 
wyck perceiving that the people of the new settle- 
ment intended to intercept the Indians coming from the 
west with peltries, petitioned, in 1662, the director- 
general and council not to allow the settlers of the Groote 
Vlachte to trade with the Indians. To protect not only 
the interests of the petitioners but also those of the fur 
factors of the West India Company stationed at Fort 
Orange, the director-general and council required the 
people of the Great Flat '^to bind themselves and to 
promise not to carry on any trade with the Wilden under 
whatever name or pretext it might be, neither directly 
nor indirectly." To enforce the requirements of this 
order, Jacques Corteljon, the company's engineer, was 
instructed in 1663 not to survey any land for the settlers 
who would not subscribe their names to the following 
pledge: ''We, the undersigned, proprietors of land on 
the flat, '^ ^ ^ promise herewith that we will have no 
dealings with the savages, whatever name they may have, 
on the said flat or thereabouts, nor will we permit such 
trade under any pretext whatsoever, neither directly nor 
indirectly, under the penalty that if we or any of us 
should hereafter happen to forget this, our promise, we 
shall pay as a fine, without any resistance whatever, the 
first time fifty beavers, the second time one hundred, 
and the third time forfeit the land allotted to and ob- 
tained by us on the aforesaid flat. This we confirm by 
our signatures at Fort Orange, the "'' '' ''" year 1663." 

The people of the Great Flat formally refused to pledge 
this obedience, saying : ' ' We bought the land with our 
own money for the company (to be repaid at a convenient 
time), took possession of it with much expense, erected 
buildings on it, and stocked it with horses and cattle. If 
the proprietors are to be treated in a difl'erent manner or 


with less consideration than the other inhabitants, then 
all their labor has been unrewarded and they are com- 
pletely ruined. '-' '• '' Inasmuch as the surveyor is 
now here, but has no order to survey the land unless' this 
pledge is signed, we request that the surveyor be author- 
ized to survey the land in order to prevent differences 
and disputes among us, else we shall be compelled to help 
ourselves as best we can."^ To this communication the 
director- general and council, on the eighteenth of June, 
1663, replied, that they must be obeyed for they did not 
intend to further the interests of one place and ruin those 
of another. To enforce their commands, they ordered 
that no Indian goods or any merchandise should be con- 
veyed to '"Schanechtade," much less bartered there, on 
pam of forfeiting the Indian goods and merchandises, 
^^ one-half to be given to the informer, the other half to 
the officer, either of Fort Orange or the colony of Eens- 
selaerswyck, by whom the complaint shall be instituted." 
They also commanded that the commissary of the West 
India Company and the magistrates of the court of Fort 
Orange and of Beverswyck "^should repair to the newly- 
begun settlement of Schanechtade and there take up the 
goods and merchandises already carried there, contrary 
to the act of concession" of the sixth of April, 1662.^ 

It was in Beverswyck on the twenty- ninth of 
January, 1663, that Anneke Janse Bogardus made her 
last will and testament, which more than a century and 

1 The paper was signed and marked by "A. van Curlaer, Philipp Hen- 
dricksen Sander Leendertsen Glen, the mark of Simon Volckertsen, Pieter 
Sogemacklie, the mark of Tennis Cornelissen, the mark of Martin Cornelis- 
sen, Willem Teller, Gerret Bancker, Bastian de Winter for the widow of 
Arent Andriesen, Pieter Jacobsen Borsboom, Pieter Danielsen van Olinda, 
the mark of Jan Barentsen Wemp, and the mark of Jacques Cornelis. 

2 Albany records, vol. xix. fol. 179, 180 ; vol vi, fol. 345 ; vol. xxi, fol. 
136, 137, 139; vol xxii, fol. 169, 234. Papieren rackende Schaenhectady. 
Albany County Clerk's office. 1680-1685. fol. 297-301. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. 
xiii. pp. 202, 203, 204, 215. 216, 219, 244, 253, 254. 


a half thereafter became famous in the suit to recover a 
part of the property in the city of New York that her 
heirs, on the ninth of March, 1671, had conveyed to 
Lieutenant-governor Lovelace. Her personal history is 
traceable to the year 1630, v^hen she with her first 
Holland, to become colonists of Rensselaerswyck. In^ 
husband, Roelofl Jansen, emigrated from Maesterlandt, • 
1636, Roelofl Jansen, having removed from Rensselaers- 
wyck to the city of New Amsterdam, obtained^ by letters- 
patent from Director-general Van Twiller, thirty-one 
morgens, or sixty-two acres of farm-land, lying north of 
the city, along the Hudson. After the death of her first 
husband, she married, about the year 1638, the Rev. 
Everhardus Bogardus, the pastor of the First Reformed 
church of New Amsterdam. After the latter's death in 
1647, she purchased a house in Beverswyck, on the north 
side of Jonker Street, where now is the northeast corner, of 
James and State streets, where she lived until she died 
in 1663. A short time before her death, while sick in 
bed. Dirk van Schelluyne, a notary-public of the village, 
wrote her last will and testament, which she signed in 
the presence of Rutger Jacobsen and Evert Janse Wendell. 
The land sold by her heirs in 1671, was first known as 
the Duke's farm, then as the King's, and then as the 
Queen's. The tract, described as bounded on the east 
partly by the street called Broadway, partly by the com- 
mon, partly by the swamp, and on the west by the 
Hudson, its southern and northern limits being respect- 
ively near the present lines of Warren and Christopher 
streets, was conveyed on the twenty -third of November, 
1705, by letters-patent from Queen Anne to the corpora- 
tion of Trinity church, New York. The property was 
peaceably held by the church until the close of the 
revolutionary war, when Cornehus Bogardus claimed a 


sixth part of the farm under the plea that his right and 
title had never been transferred to the possessors of the 
land. He thereupon took possession of a house on the 
farm, and inclosed some of the land with a fence. The 
chmch-officers asserted the corporation's ownership of 
the land, and Cornelius Bogardus was evicted. 

In 1830, John Bogardus brought an action against the 
corporation of Trinity church to recover one-fifth part of 
one-sixth of the sixty -two acres of land belonging to the 
farm. This descendant of Anneke Janse Bogardus 
"alleged that the undivided sixth part of the premises 
belonged to Cornelius Bogardus, the ancestor of the 
complainant, at the time of his death, in 1707, and was 
held by him as tenant in common with the corporation 
of Trinity church ; that upon his death that sixth 
descended to his eldest son, the grandfather of the com- 
plainant, who had died in 1759 intestate ; that on the 
death of the latter, it descended to the father of the com- 
plainant, who had died intestate in 1794, leaving the com- 
plainant and his four brothers and sisters his heirs at law ; 
hence as it was claimed, the complainant became entitled 
to one-fifth of that undivided sixth as tenant in common 
with his brothers and sisters and the corporation." When 
the court rendered its judgment against the complainant, 
the chancellor closed his opinion with these words : 
'' Were it not for the uncommon magnitude of the claim, 
the apparent sincerity and zeal of the counsel who 
supported it, and the fact (of which I have been often- 
times admonished, by personal applications on their 
behalf), that the descendants of Anneke Janse at this day 
are hundreds, if not thousands, in number, I should 
not have deemed it necessary to deliver a written 
judgment. ^' ^ '^ But the law on these claims is well 
settled ; and it must be sustained, in favor of religious 


corporations as well as of private individuals. Indeed, 
it would be monstrous, if, after a possession such as has 
been proved in this case, for a period of nearly a century 
and a half, open, notorious, and within sight of the 
temple of justice, the successive claimants, save one, 
being men of full age, and the courts open to them all 
the time (except for seven years of war and revolution); 
the title to lands were to be litigated successfully, upon a 
claim which has been suspended for five generations. 
Few titles in this country would be secure under such 
an administration of the law ; and its adoption would 
lead to scenes of fraud, corruption, foul injustice, and 
legal rapine, far worse in their consequences upon the 
peace, good order, and happiness of society than external 
war or domestic insurrection." ^ 

The massacre of the settlers at Esopus, fifty-five miles 
south of Beverswyck, at noon, on the seventh of June, 
1663, caused the alarmed inhabitants of the dorpe and 
colonie to take such steps as were necessary to render 
Fort Orange defensible. ^ Director Stuy vesant wrote the 
following week to the magistrates of Beverswyck and 
Rensselaerswyck, saying : ' ' As we are informed that 
Fort Orange is bared of soldiers and destitute of the 
proper means of defense and hard to repair, we would 
consider it advisable that the company's stone-building 
only be fortified and all the wretched huts be removed 
with the least expense and the utmost expedition, which 
we leave to your honors' better experience and discretion. 
Your honors will have been taught, I trust, by the 
occurrence at Esopus, not to put faith in the Indians nor 
let them enter your houses in large numbers, much less 
provide them with strong liquor or ammunition, except 

1 Paige's reports, vol. iv. Sandford's chancery reports, vol iv. Collections 
on the history of Albany Munsell. vol. iii. pp. 459-469. 

2 Twenty-one persons were killed and forty-two taken prisoners . 


for saving the captive women and children, to do which 
the greatest effort must be made. Hereafter no yacht 
must sail up or down the river by itself unless well- 
manned." Four days later he again wrote to the magis- 
trates of the two courts to send to New Amsterdam, '^at 
the first opportunity, three or four of the lightest 
cannon" to be used ^'at distant outlying places," where 
they were much needed. Councilor Johannes de Decker 
was also sent to Fort Orange to obtain a number of 
resolute men, to be paid eight or ten guilders a month at 
the usual rate of sixteen pieces of wampum for a stiver, 
to serve as soldiers at Esopus, and if the magistrates 
thought it advisable ''to induce the Maquaas or Senecas 
to capture some of the Esopus savages/' who might be 
exchanged for the Dutch prisoners held by these savages. 
De Decker was also instructed " to request the courts, or, 
with the help of the deputies of the same, to ask some 
merchant to advance [the government] a sum of three or 
four thousand guilders, half in goods, half in wampum, 
either in the form of a loan, or at a fair rate of interest" 
if the money could not be returned within a year, for 
which the director-general and council of New Nether- 
land offered '' to give as security not only the company's 
property, but their own." 

Vice-director La Montague, in a letter dated the 
twenty-third of June, wrote as follows to the officers of 
the government respecting Fort Orange : ''It ought to be 
repaired and put in a defensible condition in a short 
time. '" ''' '^' The courts '" ^ ^' have with me con- 
cluded to let the old houses and huts stand, and to repair 
only the bastions at the least expense and with the utmost 
expedition, for it would hardly be convenient for all the 
occupants to pull down their houses now and to move 
elsewhere. It would also be disadvantageous to the hon- 


orable company, for the people would have to be indem- 
nified, while my hands, to which the business would be 
intrusted, are, to my regret, closed. Now the people are 
deriding the honorable company for the condition of the 
fort. This ridicule cannot be tolerated any longer. 
Therefore I have undertaken to make a beginning, for 
the posts and the outside covering are ready and the 
burghers have offered to furnish daily eight or ten men. 
But plank for platforms, sills, rails for anchors, spikes, 
and especially two carpenters, are still needed." On the 
twenty-ninth he wrote : " The ordnance for which your 
honor calls is ready at your honor's pleasure, but I have no 
men to put it aboard a vessel nor money to pay the laborers. 
I pray your honor will consider that there are not 
more than eight cannon on the four bastions, besides a 
twelve-pounder that has never been mounted in my time. 
Mr. Rensselaer claims three of these pieces, and demands 
them immediately to place them in a little fort or fortifi- 
cation at Greenbush that they have built there, and if 
your honor takes four from those remaining not more 
than two would be left us. It is true that there are still 
three light pieces which the magistrates brought from 
Mr. Rensselaer's place in 1656, and placed on the church. 
These, the magistrates say, his honor had given them to 
use in the defense of the plank-enclosure. I dare not 
take these away from there without his honor's express 
order. " Meanwhile the settlers of Rensselaerswyck living 
on the east side of the river had erected at Greenbush 
a small block-house called Fort Cralo, which was garris- 
oned for a short time by a number of colonists appointed 
by the officers of the manor to guard the settlement 
there. ^ 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. viii. pp. 155, 156, 250, 254-256, 258, 264. MSS. 
of Rensselaerswyck. 


At this time the affairs of New Netherland were in so 
deplorable a condition that the people determined to 
complain to the Holland directors of the West India 
Company. A colonial assembly {landts vergaderinge) 
was convoked. As it was too late in the year to secure 
the attendance of delegates from Esopus, Beverswyck 
and Rensselaerswyck, the convention, which began its 
sessions on the first day of November, in the city of New 
Amsterdam, was composed only of delegates from the 
settlements of Amersfoort, Bergen, Boswyck, Breucklen, 
Haerlem, Midwout, New Amsterdam and New Utrecht. 
The representatives of the people addressed a remon- 
strance to the Holland directors of the West India Com- 
pany, in which they reminded them of the promises 
made by them in the charter of privileges and exemptions 
of 1629 : '' By the exemptions which your honors granted 
and published, encouraging the people to leave their 
dearly beloved Fatherland and to emigrate to this 
country, you publicly bound yourselves to keep your 
remonstrants in the peaceable possession of their prop- 
erty and of the lands they selected, settled, and occupied, 
and to protect them and the other inhabitants against all 
civil or foreign war, usurpation, and open force. To ac- 
complish this your honors were bound to obtain from their 
high mightinesses, the States-General, our supreme 
sovereigns, commissions and patents in proper form, 
substantiating and justifying your actual and legitimate 
jurisdiction over this province and its territory, so far as 
it extended." 

They further asserted that *'the English, to conceal 
their plans, now declare that there is no proof, no legal 
instrument or patent from their high Qiightinesses to 
substantiate and justify our rights and claims to the pos- 
session of this province, and insinuate that by the delay 


of their high mightinesses to grant such patent, you 
seemingly intended to place the people here on slippery 
ice, giving them lands to which your honors had no right 
whatever ; that this is, indeed, the real cause of our 
being kept continually in a labyrinth, and the reason 
why the well-intentioned English settled under your 
government are at a loss how to perform the obligations 
of their oaths. " 

They also accused the directors of failing to protect 
and defend New Netherland " with a sufficient number 
of good soldiers and the other necessary means which 
constitute the chief and entire foundation on which, 
other than God, peaceably repose the tranquility, safety, 
and security of this province and its people. "^ ^ ^ So 
that the good people are thereby reduced to a state nearly 
as deplorable as a flock without a shepherd, a prey to 
every one who will make use of the opportunity and 
attack them." 

" There is no doubt then, at least the apprehension is 
very strong, that we must expect the loss of the whole 
of this province ; or that it will be circumscribed with 
such narrow limits that it will resemble only a useless 
carcass, devoid of limbs and form, deprived of all its 
internal parts, its head separated from its trunk, and 
your remonstrants, consequently, so closely cooped up, 
if not entirely crushed, that they at last will be 
compelled, to their irreparable ruin, to abandon this 
country in despair, and become outcasts with their 

They further declared that if the directors did not 
apply, ' ' in the shortest w^ay, the most efficacious means " 
to relieve them from their ''calamitous and distressing 
condition" that they would, ''by an imperative neces- 
sity," be compelled, in order to save themselves and 


families, to address the college of deputies of the 
respective departments, through whom they would make 
apphcation to their high mightinesses, the Lords States- 
General, for speedy and effectual aid. 

This urgent remonstrance was at once forwarded to 
the directors of the West India Company, at Amsterdam, 
where Jeremias van Rensselaer and Jacob Baker were 
to prevail upon the corporation to give immediate atten- 
tion to the matters set forth in it. ^ 

While the people of the southern part of New Nether- 
land were discussing the probable action of the West 
India Company to redress the grievances of which they 
complained, the settlers of Beverswyck and Rensselaers- 
wyck were in great dismay on account of the rapid 
ravages of the small-pox. Vaccination was unknown, 
and the epidemic was wide-spread. In Beverswyck every 
family was afflicted with the '' foul, putrid disease." The 
block-house church bell daily tolled the death of the 
victims of the virulent infection. A thousand Indians of 
the tribes of the northern part of New Netherland died 
with the loathsome disease. ^ 

During the winter of 1663-64, the condition of the 

affairs of the province became more alarming, and a 

second general assembly was therefore convened on the 

enth of April, 1664, in the city hall of New Amsterdam. 

Jan Verbeck and Gerrit van Slechtenhorst were delegates 

1 Albany records, vol. xxi, fol. S51-855, 357, 361, 369-376. Hoi. doc. 
vol. xii. fol. 291, 363. 

2 Vice-director La Montagne thus speaks of the virulent disease, in a 
letter dated Fort Orange, November 4, 1663 : 

**You have heard, no doubt, of the doleful situation of this place as 
respects the small-pox, which is still daily mcreasing. I learned yesterday 
that on the hill fifteen persons were so affected by the disease that they could 
not afford any relief to one another. At Willem Teller's seven are afflicted 
with it, and six in my family, my negro being the last. Twelve persons 
have died within eight days, chiefly children. The Lord God help us and 
stop its farther progress, and save you all from such a foul, putrid disease." — 
Albany records, vol. vi. fol. 409. 


from Fort Orange and Beverswyck ; and Jeremias van 
Rensselaer and Dirk van Schelluyne from Rensselaers- 
wyck.^ As Rensselaerswyck was the oldest colony in 
New Netherland, Jeremias van Rensselaer was chosen to 
preside during the deliberations of the assembly. After 
debating certain measures to protect the country and to 
defeat the machinations of ^'the malignant English" 
and the hostile Indians, the assembly adjourned for a 
week's recess. When it again convened dispatches had 
been received from Holland informing the director- 
general and council of New Netherland that the Lords- 
States Greneral had reaffirmed on the twenty-third of 
January, 1 664, the validity of the charter given by their 
high mightinesses to the West India Company on the third 
of June, 1621, and had more definitely defined the 
boundaries of New Netherland conformably to the 
agreement made and concluded at Hartford, on the 
nineteenth of September, 1650, and ratified by them on 
the twenty-second of February, 1656.^ Director Stuyve- 
sant at the same time received instructions from the 
directors of the West India Company to exterminate the 

1 "April 3, 1664. On the summons of the lords director and council of 
New Netherland for a general assembly, dated March 19, to be held on the 
tenth of this month of April, their honors of the court of this colony have 
thereunto deputed Mr, Jeremias van Rensselaer, director, and Dirck van 
Schelluyne, secretary of the said colony, to advance the contents of the 
letter of credence placed in their hands to the advantage of this colony and 
the country, as they shall find necessary." — Resolutie boek van de Gecom- 
mitterde der Colonye Rensselaerswyck. 

2 ** 1. That vpon long Island a lyne Runne from the Westermost part of 
the Oyster bay soe and in a straight and directe lyne to the Sea Shal be the 
bounds betwixt the English and Dutch there, the Easterly part to belong to 
the English the Westermost part to the Dutch. 

"2. The bounds vpon the mayne to begin at the West side of Green- 
widge bay being about 4 miles from Stanford and soe to runne a Northerly 
lyne twenty miles vp into the Country and after as it shal bee agreed by the 
two governments of the Dutch and of Newhaven provided the said lyne 
com not within 10 miles of Hudsons River." — Articles of agreement made 
and concluded at Hartford, September 19th, 1650. Coll. N. Y. Hist. Soe. 
vol. 1. p. 236. 


Indians who had taken part in the massacre of the 
people at Esopus, and to oppose with force the aggressive 
English. The assembly after considering these advices 
concluded that it would be useless to attempt to take up 
arms against the English settlers as they '' were as six to 
one, and with aid from Hartford could easily overcome 
and massacre the few Dutch soldiers that could be 
brought against them." With the hostile Indians it was 
deemed best that a treaty of peace should be concluded 
without loss of time as it was learned that the English 
of Connecticut were tampering with them. When the 
assembly adjourned, Director Stuyvesant at once made 
the necessary overtures to the belligerent Indians, and on 
the sixteenth of May concluded a treaty of peace and 
amity, at Fort Amsterdam, with the chiefs of the River 
Indians. This event was celebrated by a general thanks- 
giving, the fourth of June being observed by the people 
of New Netherland conformably to the proclamation of 
the director-general and council, dated May 31, 1664. ^ 

1 Albany records, vol. xxi. foL 851-355, 857, 361, 369-376: vol. xxii. 
fol. 78-90, 105, 106, 145-167, 179-182 ; vol. iv. fol. 454-456, 459-463, 
465; vol. xxii, fol. 182; vol. xviii. fol. 238-240; vol. xxii. fol. 119 — 180 
227. 214-226, 245. Hoi. doc. vol. xii. fol. 291, 363. Jeremias van Rensse- 
laer's letter to his brother Jan Baptiste, April 25, 1664. 




New Netherland had been coveted for a long time by 
the Enghsh. They had early claimed its territory by the 
right of its assumed discovery by the Cabots. They 
affirmed that it was a part of the country granted in 1584 
to Sir Walter Raleigh by Queen Elizabeth. They asserted 
that it was included in the domain conveyed by letters- 
patent to the Enghsh companies in 1606. They alleged 
that the Hollanders were interlopers, that the latter had 
taken possession of the region called by them New Neth- 
erland without any right or title whatever. They further 
declared that the Netherlanders had been formally warned 
by the people of the Plymouth colony to forbear trading 
on the ''Man^hata River/' and not to make any settle- 
ments there as the territory belonged to the king of 
England, that the Dutch had rephed '' with proude and 
contumacious answ^ers, (saying they had commission to 
fight against such as should disturbe their settlement,)" 
that they persisted in planting colonies and trading there, 
'' vilefying" the Enghsh colonists in the hearing of the 
Indians, and '^extolling their owne people and countrye of 
Holland." ' Therefore it was not strange that Charles II. 
king of England was influenced by such arguments 

1 John Mason's letter to Secretary Coke, April 2, 16.32. Doc. colonial 
hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 16, 17. 



as these and by other considerations to grant, on the 
twelfth of March, 1664, to his brother James, duke of 
York and Albany, all the territory of New England and 
''all that Island or Islands commonly called by the sev- 
eral name or names of Matowacks or Long Island," and 
the ''Eiver called Hudson's River, and all the land from 
the West side of Connectticut to the east side of Delaware 
Bay ; " nor was it unnatural for Charles 11. to provide his 
brother with four men-of-war and a force of four hun- 
dred and fifty men under the command of Colonel Rich- 
ard NicoUs to take possession of the territory of New 
Netherland. ^ 

The first information received by the director-general 
and council of New Netherland respecting the fitting out 
and sailing of the English fleet was brought from Boston. 
Orders were at once given to put Fort Amsterdam in a 
defensible condition, and spies were sent to different 
places to gather further intelligence of the designs of the 
English. As soon as Director Stuy vesant conceived that 
the city of New Amsterdam would likely be the first 
place to be attacked, he wrote, on the eighth of July, to 
Vice- director La Montague and Jeremias van Rensselaer, 
saying : 

*' These few lines only serve to communicate the 
information furnished to-day by different persons con- 
cerning the English frigates that have so long been 
spoken of. That they have already put to sea and are 
manned and armed as was admitted and confirmed is 
beyond a doubt, but their destination is still mere report 
as the inclosed information implies, yet from the circum- 
stances it may be presumed without difficulty that they 
might indeed come directly here to this river. We have 
thought it necessary to give your honor and those of the 

1 Book of patents, vol. i. fol. 109-121. Hoi. doc. vol. x. fol. 149. 


colony of Rensselaerswyck speedy notice and knowledge 
thereof, to the end that you and we may be on our guard 
and prepare for all possible resistance, and as it is 
apparent that this place may bear the first and the 
severest shock, and if lost, little hope would remain for 
the rest, we would therefore earnestly recommend you, 
with all possible speed, according to the promise given 
at the general assembly, to furnish such assistance, 
especially powder and lead, as circumstances may in any 
y\raj permit, the sooner the better, for the need is 

''At the same time we would recommend and pray 
you to negotiate a loan of five or six thousand guilders in 
wampum for the honorable company, and to send it down 
by the first opportunity to pay the laboring people. The 
obligations you may be assured will be repaid satisfac- 
torily, either in negroes or other commodities, in case the 
gracious God, as we hope and wish, will grant a favora- 
ble result." ^ 

Meanwhile the bloody tide of Indian warfare was 
deepening around Beverswyck and Rensselaerswyck. In 
June a number of Mohawks had been treacherously 
murdered by a party of Abenaquis. On the twelfth of 
July, several chiefs of the River Indians informed the 
authorities at Fort Orange that this massacre of the 
Maquaas had been instigated by the English. One of 
them said : 

''Brothers, we will conceal nothing from you since 
you have lived among us a very long time and have had 
your wives and children among us, and you understand 
our language quite well. The English told and com- 
manded the savages to fight and kill the Maquaas and 

1 Albany records, vol. xx. fol. 377 ; vol. xxii. fol. 271-273, 276. Hoi. 
doc. vol. xi. fol. 219, 221, 286-239; vol. xii. 92-96, 117-119. 


the Dutch ; and the Enghsh threatened, that if they did 
not do it, to kill them. They further told that forty 
vessels are coming from Europe to wage war and demand 
the surrender of the country, and if we decline to 
surrender that they will kill us to the last man, and 
then the English will fight against the Dutch." 

The Mohegans, or Mahikanders as they were called 
by the Dutch, seemingly followed the instructions of the 
English, for they became quite hostile. The magistrates 
of Beverswyck and Rensselaerswyck in their answer of 
the fourteenth of July to the letter of Director Stuyve- 
sant, adverted to the massacre of the Mohawk chiefs, 
remarking : 

''It has also followed that the Mahikanders who 
appear to have some knowledge of the affair, have fled 
from the Mohawks, and the next consequence was that, 
on last Monday, the seventh [of July, 1664,], the Indians 
of the colony, at one onslaught, killed nine head of 
cattle ^ ^ "^ on Director Eensselaer's farm, at Green- 
bush ; afterward, on another, in the manor, three head 
of cattle exclusive of those that are missing and some 
which are wounded. 

''There are also reliable reports that the Indians 
burnt, on last Friday, the dwelling house on Mr. 
Abraham Staet's farm, also the farmer. His wife and 
one negro have not yet been found. The people of Mr. 
Abraham's wife have sent a canoe there to-day. Our 
cowherd has also been threatened by the Indians. ^ ^ ^ 
In fine, we are in great trouble, peril, and perplexity. 

" Now in reply to your honor's letter of the eighth of 
July, handed us this day by Gerrit Virbeeck, respecting 
what you have been pleased to communicate to us con- 
cerning the frigates, we have scarcely any doubt of the 
probability of their coming to attack us as appears from 


the reports of the Indians and the declarations made 
here to the court, according to the papers accompanying 
this communication. 

"Wherefore we request your honors to aid us with 
your wise counsel. '^ ^ '^ Respecting the supply of 
powder and lead which your honors have been pleased to 
request, the director and council will be so good as to 
consider that in this emergency we have the greatest 
need of what is very scarce here." ^ 

When this communication was received by the direc- 
tor-general and council their apprehensions respecting 
the warlike intentions of the English had been allayed 
by later dispatches from the directors of the Amsterdam 
chamber of the West India Company. They were told 
that soon there would be an amicable adjustment of the 
differences so long existing between the English and the 
Dutch concerning the boundary lines of the province, 
and that the king of Great Britain "being disposed to 
bring aU of his dominions under one form of government, 
both in church and in state," was about to send commis- 
sioners to New England "to establish the episcopal gov- 
ernment as in Old England." This change, they said, 
would so effect the English settlers in New Netherland, 
that "they will not give us hereafter so much trouble 
but prefer rather to live free under us, at peace with their 
consciences, than to trouble themselves to get rid of our 
authority and then to fall again under a government 
from which they had formerly fled." 

Persuaded that there were no legitimate grounds for 
the alarming reports that had been circulated among the 
people of New Netherland, the director-general, on the 
last day of July, went on board of a vessel and sailed for 

1 MSS. of Rensselaerswyck. Albany records, vol. vi. fol. 431. Hoi. doc. 
vol. xi. fol. 238. 


Fort Orange. ^ Several weeks afterward the citizens of 
New Amsterdam in great amazement heard that a part 
of the EngHsh fleet had arrived at Boston, and that their 
city would soon be in the possession of the duke of York 
and Albany. All business was at once suspended. The 
excited people loudly censured the director-general for 
leaving the city. A messenger was immediately sent to 
Fort Orange to inform him of the direful condition of 
affairs in New Amsterdam. On Friday, the twenty-ninth 
of August, four days after his return to the seat of gov- 
ernment, Director Stuyvesant wrote to the authorities of 
Fort Orange and of Rensselaerswyck : " My leaving you 
was painful on account of my indisposition ; more pain- 
ful and troublesome were my return and arrival here on 
last Monday, on account of the report respecting the four 
English frigates, one of which showed herself, the next 
day, Tuesday, in the bay, near Sandy Hook. 

"Yesterday, being Thursday, three more arrived and 
sailed up into Najack [Nyack] bay, where they are still 
at anchor. ^ ^ ^ Evidently it is to be inferred that 
they will endeavor to reduce not only this capital but 
also the whole province to obedience to England. 

'^ The naval and military force from Old England is 
estimated at seventeen hundred ; some say two thousand 
men, in addition to the crowd daily expected from New 

"You can easily imagine in what a state of embar- 
rassment and anxiety we find ourselves without the 
hope of any relief. Therefore this serves chiefly to warn 
your honors and all friends particularly and mainly not 
to send down any beavers nor peltries for fear of their 
falling into the hands of the English. 

1 Albany records, vol. xx. fol. S11 ; vol. xxii. fol. 211-21B, 276. Hoi. doc. 
vol. xi. fol. 219, 22], 236-239; vol. xii. fol. 92-96, 11'7-119. 


''It is desired, and, indeed, it is most necessary that 
your honors should assist us with some aid in men and 
powder, in case any hope or means remain of transport- 
ing and bringing them here in season and safety." 

Vice-director La Montague and Jeremias van Rens- 
selaer in reply, wrote as follows, on the twenty-ninth of 
August : 

" Right honorable general : 

" We are pleased to learn from your honor's letter of 
the twenty-ninth of August, of your arrival, but the un- 
expected hostile appearance of the English and the 
threatening concourse of evil-disposed neighbors belong- 
ing to their nation in this country are strange occur- 
rences to us. 

" We have done our duty comformably to your hon- 
or's letters, the particulars of which we dare not commit 
to writing before and until we have further and more re- 
liable information concerning what has happened. To 
our surprise we do not find the inclosure of which your 
honor wrote. 

'' Meanwhile, at the request of some travelers, whose 
homes are at the Manhattans, we have consented to their 
departure in a sloop from this place thither. And here- 
with hoping for every thing we shall conclude, and after 
hearty greeting commend your honor to God's mercy." 

On the thirtieth of August, Colonel Richard Nicolls, 
commanding the English fleet, at anchor in Nyack Bay, 
demanded the surrender of New Amsterdam. After a 
futile attempt to convince the British officer in a written 
protest that England had no right to the possession of 
New Netherland, Director Stuyvesant finally but reluct- 
antly signed, on the eighth of September, the articles of 
surrender, drawn up and signed by the Dutch and Eng- 
lish commissioners, on Saturday, the sixth of September. 


As soon as the articles^ received the signatures of Col- 
onel NicoUs and the director-general and council of New 
Netherland, Johannes de Decker took passage in a vessel 
saiUng to Fort Orange, where, on his arrival, he under- 

1 " I. We consent that the States General, or the West India company, 
shall freely injoy all farms and houses (except such as are in the forts), and 
that within six months, they shall have free liberty to transport all such arms 
and ammunition as now does belong to them, or else they shall be paid for 

"II. All publique houses shall continue for the uses which they are for. 
'* III. All people shall still continue free denizens, and shall injoy their 
lands, goods, wheresoever they are within this country, and dispose of them 
as they please. 

" IV. If any inhabitant have a mind to remove himself, he shall have a 
year and six weeks from this day to remove himself, wife, children, ser- 
vants, goods, and to dispose of his lands here. 

"V. If any officer of state, or publique minister of state, have a mind 
to go for England, they shall be transported fraught free, in his Majesty's 
frigotts, when these frigotts shall return thither. 

"VI. It is consented to, that any people may freely come from the 
Netherlands and plant in this colony, and that Dutch vessels may freely 
come hither, and any of the Dutch may freely return home, or send any sort 
of merchandise home, in vessels of their own country. 

*'VII. All ships from, the Netherlands, or any other place and goods 
therein, shall be received here, and sent hence, after the manner which for- 
merly they were before our coming hither, for six months next ensuing. 

"VIII. The Dutch here shall injoy the liberty of their consciences in 
divine worship and church discipline. 

" IX. No Dutchman here, or Dutch ship here, shall upon any occasion, 
be pressed to serve in war against any nation whatsoever. 

" X. That the townsmen of the Manhattans shall not have any soldiers 
quartered upon them, without being satisfied and paid for them by their 
officers, and that at this present, if the fort be not capable of lodging all the 
soldiers, then the Burgomasters, by their officers, shall appoint some houses 
capable to receive them. 

" XI. The Dutch here shall injoy their own customs concerning their in- 

"XII. All publique writings and records, which concern the inheritances 
of any people, or the reglement of the church or poor, or orphans, shall be 
carefully kept by those in whose hands now they are, and such writings as 
particularly concern the States General, may at any time be sent to them. 

"XIII. No judgment that has passed any judicature here, shall be called 
in question,, but if any conceive that he hath not had justice done him, if 
he apply himself to the States General, the other party shall be bound to 
answer for the supposed injury. 

" XIV. If any Dutch living here shall at any time desire to travaile or 
traffique into England, or any place, or plantation, in obedience to his 


took to incite the garrison and the people of Beverswyck 
and Rensselaerswyck to resist the EngHsh when they 
came to demand the surrender of the fort. After taking 
possession of the city of New Amsterdam and Fort Am- 
sterdam, on Monday the eighth of September, and respect- 
ively calling them New York and Fort James, Governor 
NicoUs sent, on the following Wednesday, Colonel 

Majesty of England, or with the Indians, he shall have (upon his request to 
the govenor) a certificate that he is a free denizen of this place, and liberty 
to do so. 

" XV. If it do appear, that there is a publique engagement of debt, by 
the town of Manhatoes, and a way agreed on for the satisfying of that en- 
gagement, it is agreed, that the same way proposed shall go on, and that 
the engagement shall be satisfied. 

'* XVI . All inferior civil officers and magistrates shall continue as now 
they are (if they please), till the customary time of new elections, and then 
new ones to be chosen by themselves, provided that such new chosen magis- 
trates shall take the oath of allegiance to his Majesty of England before they 
enter upon their office. 

" XVII. All differences of contracts and bargains made before this day, 
by any in this country, shall be determined according to the manner of the 

*' XVIII. If it do appeare that the West India company of Amsterdam 
do really owe any sums of money to any persons here, it is agreed that re- 
cognition and other duties payable by ships going for the Netherlands, be 
continued for six months longer. 

" XIX. The officers military and soldiers shall march out with their ^ 
arms, drums beating, and colours flying, and lighted matches ; and if any of 
them will plant, they shall have fifty acres of land set out for them ; if any 
of them will serve as servants, they shall continue with all safety, and be- 
come free denizens afterwards. 

*'XX. If, at any time hereafter, the King of Great Britain and the 
States of the Netherland do agree that this place and country be re-delivered 
into the hands of the said States, whensoever his Majestic will send his com- 
mands to re-deliver it, it shall immediately be done. 

" XXI. That the town of Manhattans shall choose deputyes, and those 
deputy es» shall have free voyces in all publique affairs, as much as any other 

" XXII. Those who have any property in any houses in the fort of 
Aurania, shall (if they please) slight the fortifications there, and then injoy 
all their houses as all people do where there is no fort. 

" XXIII. If there be any soldiers that will go into Holland, and if the 
company of West India in Amsterdam, or any private persons here will 
transport them into Holland, then they shall have a safe passport from 
Colonel Richard Nicolls, deputy governor under his Royal Highness, and the 
other commissioners, to defend the ships that shall transport such soldiers, 


George Cartwright, Captains John Manning and Daniel 
Brodhead, with a small body of soldiers to Fort Orange. 
Colonel Cartwright carried with him the following letter 
addressed "To the present Deputy-Governor, or the mag- 
istrates and inhabitants of ffort Aurania :"^ 

" These are to will and require you and every of you 
to bee ayding and assisting to Col. George Cartwright in 
the prosecution of his Majesty's interest against all such 
of what nation soever as shall oppose the peaceable sur- 
render and quiet possession of the ffort Aurania, and to 
obey him the said Col. George Cartwright according to 
such instructions as I have given him in case the Mo- 
hawks or other Indyans shall attempt any thing against 
the lives, goods or chattells of those who are now under 
the protection and obedience of his Majesty of Great Brit- 
taine ; wherefore you nor any of you are to fayle as you 
will answer the contrary at your utmost perills. 

"Given under my hand and seale att ffort James in 
New Yorke on Manhattans Island, this tenth day of Sep- 
tember, 1664, "R. NiCOLLS." 

1 Aurantia, (Latin,) orange, 
and all the goods in them, from any surprizal or acts of hostility, to be done 
by any of his Majesty's ships or subjects. That the copies of the King's 
grant to his Royal Highness, and the copy of his Royal Highness's commis- 
sion to Colonel Richard Nicolls, testified by two commissioners more, and 
Mr. Winthrop, to be true copies, shall be delivered to the Honourable Mr. 
Stuyvesant, the present governor, on Monday next, by eight of the clock in 
the morning, at the Old Miln, and these articles consented to, and signed by 
Colonel Richard Nicolls, deputy governor to his Royal Highness, and that 
within two hours after the fort and town called New Amsterdam, upon the 
isle of Manhotoes, shall be delivered into the hands of the said Colonel 
Richard Nicolls, by the service of such as shall be by him thereunto deputed, 
by his hand and seal. 

John De Decker, Robert Carr, 

NiCH. Varleth, Geo. Cartwright, 

Sam. Megapolensis, John Winthrop, 

CoRNELis Steenwyck, Sam. Willys, 

Jacques Cousseau, John Pinchon, 

Oloffe. S. Van Kortlandt, Thomas Clarke." 
Colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 250, 253. 


Vice-director La Montague, when the order of Gover- 
nor NicoUs was presented to him, quietly surrendered 
Fort Orange to Colonel Cartwright on the twenty -fourth 
of September. In honor of the lord-proprietor of the pro- 
vince, the name of the village of Beverswyck and that 
of the fort were changed to Albany. ^ Captain Manning 
was given command of the English soldiers garrisoning 
Fort Albany. Dirk van Schelluyne, a notary public of 
Beverswyck was appointed clerk of the court of Albany. - 
The inhabitants of Albany and of Rensselaerswyck were 
allowed by Governor NichoUs the same privileges as 
were granted in the articles of capitulation to the people 
of the city of New Amsterdam. Jeremias van Rensselaer, 
the director of Rensselaerswyck, having taken the oath 
of allegiance to King Charles IL and the duke of York, 
was granted ''such priviledges and authority within the 
limits of Renzluerswicke as he did in joy and execute be- 
fore the surrender of New York into his majesties obedi- 
ence," provided ''that within the space of oneyeare," 
after the eighteenth of October, 1664, he obtained "a dif- 
ferent pattent for the colony from his royal highnesse, and 
in the meane time that all the inhabitants " of the manor 
took "the oath to his majesty and the present govern- 

1 ** Albany or Albainn, an ancient name for the Highlands of Scotland, 
and retained in some degree of use down to our day. * * * It may, in- 
deed, be pretty safely assumed that Albion or Albany was the original name 
of Britain among its Celtic population ; and that it only became restricted to 
the northwest provinces of Scotland, when the Celts had for the most part 
become confined to the same region. * * * The modern use of the name 
of Albany may be said to have taken its rise in an act of a Scottish council 
held at Scone in June 1398, when the title of Duke of Albany was conferred 
on the brother of King Robert III., then acting as regent of the kingdom. 
The title being forfeited in the son of the first holder, was afterwards con- 
ferred on Alexander, second son of King James II., in the person of whose 
son, John, it become extinct in 1536. Subsequently it was onferred in suc- 
cession on Henry Lord Darnley, on Charles I., in infancy, on James II., in 
infancy."— Chambers' Encyclopaedia. 

2 This office he held until the middle of August, 1668, 



ment." ^ While Colonel Cartwright was at Fort Albany 
a number of Mohawk and Seneca chiefs formally entered 
into the treaty of peace with the officers of the new gov- 
ernment. The Indians were told that they were not to 
be deprived of any of the privileges and gifts which had 
been given them by the Dutch. 

Few changes were made at Albany by the English. 
The courts continued to exercise the same jurisdiction as 
they had previously done according to the Dutch forms 
of procedure, and the officers retained their old designa- 
tions. Captain Manning commanding Fort Albany was 
commissioned schout or sheriff. In the latter part of 
August, 1665, Governor Mcolls visited Albany. He re- 
lieved Captain Manning, and made Captain John Baker 
chief officer of the post. He instructed the latter ' ' to 
keep a constant guard in ye fort," and as there was "no 
evident danger of force or suprisall," the soldiers were to 
be permitted ''the liberty to advance themselves by 
worke or trade." In his written instructions to the coQi- 
mander of Fort Albany he further said : 

''You are to keepe good order and disciphne with ye 
souldiers not lending to easy an eare to their complaints 
against their land lords [the persons with whom the 
soldiers boarded]. But where you find the complaints 
reasonable you are to make it known to ye comissaryes 
yr who are empowered to give redresse therein against 
their land lords or any other inhabitants who shall offer 
violence or injury to the souldiers." 

"If any of ye inhabitants make a just complaint 
against a souldier the punishment of ye souldier belongs 
only to your selfe." 

1 Albany records, vol. xx. fol. 307, 885 ; vol. xviii. fol. 312-315, 324, 326. 
Hoi. doc. vol. X. fol. 129. 

Book of general entries, vol. i. pp. 22, 26, 32, 34, 35, 55, 141, 36-50. 

The history of the province of New York. By William Smith. London, 
1151. pp. 11-22. 


*'In matters capitall or treaty es with ye Indians you 
are to sit in ye fort with ye shout and coniissaryes as ye 
upper court whereof you are to bee president and upon 
equall division of voices to have the castinge & decisive 
voice. But in the ordinary courts for civill affaires you 
have nothing to doe." 

' ' You are to keepe a f aire correspondence with ye 
commissaryes and towarde all the inhabitants & en- 
deavor to live as brothers together, avoiding all occa- 
sion of publick controversy or falling out. But if you 
have any greevance make it knowne calmly without 
heate or passion to ye court. And if they do not give 
redresse you are to remitt ye matter to mee as it was 
delivered to ye court." 

''Lett not your eares bee abused with private story es 
of ye Dutch being disaffected to ye English, for gen- 
erally wee can not expect they love us. But when you 
have any sufficient testimony against any Dutchman 
of words or actions tending to ye breach of peace or 
scandalous defamcon deliver over the testimonyes to the 
comisaryes from whom I expect justice shall bee done." 

'' You are to cause the guard house to be repaired, as 
also other necessarye repaires to bee made, with as little 
expence as is possible, knowing the narrowness of our 
present condition." 

^'If it shall at any time happen that ye Indyans 
comitt any violence at or neare Albany, you are to joyne 
in councell with ye comissaryes what is best to bee done 
till my further directions can bee knowne." ^ 

In order that the children of the Dutch inhabitants 
of Albany might be taught to speak, read, and write 
English correctly, he granted the following license : 

1 Book of patents, vol. 1. pp. 20, 155, 157, 158, 161-164. 
Orders, warrants, letters, vol. ii. pp. 3-5, 17, 229. 


''Whereas the teaching of the Enghsh Tongue is 
necessary in this Government ; I have, therefore, 
thought fitt to give License to John Shutte to bee the 
Enghsh Schoohnaster at Albany : And upon condition 
that the said John Shutte shall not demand any more 
wages from each SchoUar than is given by the Dutch to 
their Dutch Schoolmasters. I have further granted to 
the said John Shutte that hee shall bee the only English 
Schoolmaster at Albany." ^ The governor also licensed 
Jan Jurrianse Becker to teach the children of the inhabi- 
tants in the Dutch language. 

Early in January, 1666, three hundred French soldiers 
and two hundred armed Canadians, under the command 
of Daniel de Remy de Courcelles, were marching south- 
ward toward Lake Champlain, on their way to the Mo- 
hawk country, to avenge the bloody deeds of the warriors 
of their savage enemy. Burdened with heavy quantities 
of food and ammunition, they trudged on cumbersome 
snow-shoes through the intervening wilderness, hoping 
to surprise the Mohawks in their castles and reduce their 
cruel foes to a humiliated and peaceable condition. The 
courageous French unfortunately were ambuscaded by 
the wary Mohawks in the vicinity of Schenectady, and 
failed to accomplish the object of their bold undertaking. 
When the news of the presence of this large French force 
near Schenectady was brought, on the nineteenth of 
February, to Fort Albany, ''three of the principle inhab- 
itants " of Albany were sent the next day to the French 
commander to inquire why he had brought "a body of 
armed men i]ito the dominions of his Ma^ie of Great 
Brittaine." He replied ''that he came t(j seek out and de- 
stroy his Enemy es, the Mohaukes," and that he had not 
heard of the reduction of New Netherland by the king 

1 Given at Fort James, Oct. 12, 1665. 


of England, and that he had no 'intention of visiting 
their plantations," nor of molesting any of his majesty's 
subjects. He desired that he and his soldiers " might bee 
supplied with provisions for their money, and that his 
wounded men might be sucoured " and cared for in Al- 
bany. The delegation from Albany ''freely consented 
made a small but acceptable present of wine and pj-o- 
visions to him, further offering the best accommodations 
ye poore village afforded." The French officer heartily 
thanking his hospitable visitors for their kind services, 
accepted their humane proffers to take care of his seven 
wounded men, but dechned to quarter *' his weary & half- 
starv'd soldiers within the smell of a chimney-corner," 
knowing that it would be impossible for him thereafter 
to retain command of them. He asked many questions 
respecting the garrison and the strength of Fort Albany. 
He was told that there were '*a Captain and 60 English 
soldyers with i) peece of ordinance " m it, and that the 
commander, ^'Capi^ Baker had sent for ^0 men from 
another Garrison" of the king's at Esopus who probably 
had already ai'rived at Albany. Having been provided 
with provisions, and having "made a shew of march- 
ing" toward the Mohawk villages, he with ''great sylence 
& dilligence return'd towards Gannada." ^ 

Jeremias van Rensselaer, desiring to obtain from Gov- 
ernor NicoUs an official recognition that the village of 
Albany lay within the limits of Rensselaerswyck, in a 
letter addressed to the English governor, dated October 
25, 1(\66^ implied that the place was a part of the manor, 
and that therefore it was under the jurisdiction of the 
court of the colom". The governor seemingly displeased 
with the contents of the letter, frankly advised him not 
to claim too much territory : '' By tbe date of yr letter 

5 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 118, 11 


from Renzelaerwicke, in Albany, the 25th, I perceive 
that you conclude the Towne of Albany to be part of 
Renzelaerwicke. I give you friendly ad vice. not to grasp 
at too much authority, and you may probal)ly obtaine 
the post more to y^ profitt. ^ '^ '^' If you imagine 
there is pleasure in titles of Government I wish that I 
could serve your appetite, for I have found onely trouble. 
You seeme to plead for a succession to yr brother 
Baptista as of right belonging to you. '^ '^^ '^" Sett yr 
heart therefore at rest to be contented with the profitt 
not the government of a Colony till we heare from His 
Royall Highness." 

Conformably to the expressed wishes of the duke of 
York, Governor NicoUs permitted the Lutherans in the 
province to assemble together and to hold religious 
services according to the prescribed rules of their church. 
When Sir Richard Lovelace succeeded Governor Nicolls, 
on the twenty-eighth of August, 1668, the same tolerant 
spirit was manifested by the new administration. The 
office of clerk of the court of Albany was given to Ludo- 
vicus Cobes. In February, 1669, the Reverend Jacobus 
Fabricius, from Germany, ^vas officially permitted by 
Governor Lovelace to serve the Lutherans of the prov- 
ince as a preacher and a pastor. This zealous clergy- 
man, while at Albany, in April, infringed upon the 
rights of the officers of the court, who complained to the 
governor, whereupon the latter "thought good to 
suspend his ministeriall function at Albany, untill either 
by Letters or the mediation of friends he should be 
reconciled to ye Magistrates there. "^ Governor Love- 

1 He "unhappily engaged in controversy with the magistrates of that 
place, who had authorized the ' consummation of a marriage ' between 
Helmer Otten and Adriantze Arentz, 'his wife according to the law of the 
^and.' For this offence Fabricius fined Mr. Otten 1,000 Rix-dollars, and the 
Governour suspended Mr. Fabricius." History of New York. By William 
Dunlap. vol. 1. pp, 126, 127. 


lace, having afterward received instructions from Eng- 
land not to favor any denominational intolerance toward 
the Lutherans, wrote on the thirteenth of October as 
follows to the magistrates at Albany : ' ' I have lately 
received Letters from ye Duke wherein it is particularly 
signified unto me that his Royall Highness doth approve 
of ye Toleration given to ye Lutheran Church in these 
partes, I doe therefore Expect that you live friendly & 
peaceably with those of that profession giving them no 
disturbance in ye Exercise of their Religion as they 
shall receive noe Countenance in, but on ye Contrary 
strictly Answer any disturbance they shall presume 
to give unto any of you in your divine Worship." ^ 
Although granted the privilege of assembling together 
in a public place and of hearing the discourses of a 
clergyman of their own denomination, the Lutherans 
were nevertheless taxed to pay the salary of the minister 
of the Reformed church. Governor Lovelace, in his 
written instructions to the two commissioners sent by 
him in April, IBTO, to confer with the magistrates of 
Albany, desired them to give the latter the following 
message : 

"To acquaint ye Magistrates that I look upon that 
Church & Ministry as the parochiall Church of Albany 
(for it was found Establisht by my predecessors & my- 
self) & leave ye supportation of it to ye discretion of 
ye magistrates to maintaine a minister either by way of 
Taxe or otherwise & that no Inhabitant of what opinion 
soever be Exempt but bear his proportion & that they 
give me an Account of their transactions in this par- 

The Rev. Jacobus Fabricius, who had been serving the 

1 General entries, vol. i. p. 71. Orders, warrants and letters, vol. ii. 
pp. 385 894, 428. Annals of Albany. Munsell. vol. iv. pp. 18, 14. 


Lutheran congregation in New York, was permitted, by 
Governor Lovelace, on the eleventh of August, 1671, 
to preach his farewell sermon to the society, and to in- 
stall the recently arrived Lutheran minister, Bernardus 
Arensius. The latter, not long afterward^ visited Albany, 
and preached to the Lutheran congregation organized by 
his predecessor. On the eighteenth of October, 1672, he 
received a pass from Governor Lovelace, in New York, 
to go to Albany for the winter. This clergyman possessed 
''a gentle personage," and commended himself by his 
''very agreeable behaviour." It was about this time that 
the first Lutheran church was erected on the plot of 
ground, now the site of the City Building, on the south- 
west corner of Howard and South Pearl Streets. ^ 

1 Court of Assizes, vol. ii. pp. 500, 503, 702, 725. General entries, vol. iv. 
pp. 15-17, 19, 304. Annals of Albany. Munsell. vol. i. pp. 123, 124. vol. iv. 
pp. 12, 13. Collections on the history of Albany. Munsell. vol. iv. p. 205. 
vol. iii. p. 100. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 242, 245. 




The amicable relations existing between Great Britain 
and the United Netherlands, following the peace of 
Breda, July 81, 1667, were terminated, on the seventeenth 
of March, 1672, by Charles II. of England, who declared 
war against the Dutch provinces. In May, 1673, intelli- 
gence reached New York that a Dutch fleet in the West 
Indies intended to sail northward, doubtless to demand 
the surrender of Fort James. Lieutenant Sylvester, who 
had succeeded Captain Baker, July 13, 167(), as com- 
mander of the garrison of Fort Albany, was ordered to 
report for duty at Fort James with the utmost expe- 
dition. Grovernor Lovelace, believing that the reports 
brought to him concerning the moveraents of the Dutch 
squadron were more fictitious than real, permitted Lieu- 
tenant Salisbury and his soldiers to return to Fort Albany. 
Leaving Captain Manning in charge of Fort James, 
the incautious governor went to New Haven. 

On the twenty-eighth of July, the Dutch fleet of 
twenty-three vessels, carrying sixteen hundred men, 
made its appearance at Sandy Hook, and on the follow- 
ing day anchored in the lower bay. The Dutch commo- 
dores, Cornells Evertsen and Jacob Binckes, demanded 
the surrender of Fort James. Captain Manning having 



delayed giving an immediate answer to this peremptory 
order, a storming party under the command of Captain 
Anthony Colve was landed on the island. The English 
no longer hesitated but readily capitulated. At sunset 
Fort James was in the possession of the Dutch, and the 
flag of the Netherlands was again floating above the 
ramparts of the old fortification. 

The province was again called New Netherland. The 
name New Orange was given to the city of New York 
and that of Willem Hendrick to the fort. On the 
second of August, Oaptain Anthony Colve was made 
governor-general of New Netherland by Commodores 
Evertsen and Binckes. Three days afterward Lieuten- 
ant Salisbury surrendered Fort Albany. 

On the first of September, Governor Colve and Com- 
modores Evertsen and Binckes, sitting as a council of 
war, gave audience to a number of delegates from Al- 
bany, who presented certain requests ^' for the mainten- 
ance and preservation of the rights of the village of 
Beverswyck and Fort Orange. " 

''First. Earnestly requesting that the officers and 
justices of Fort Orange and Beverswyck may be the 
trusted protectors of the true Reformed religion accord- 
ing to the laws of beloved Fatherland. 

''Second. That conscience shall not be subjected to 
any constraint, as there are some here of different opin- 
ions who have intermarried, but that every one shall be 
at liberty to go where he pleases to hear the word of God 

In a fourth request it was asserted that ' ' a reasonable 
present " ought to be made "to our neighbors, the In- 
dians, especially at this critical period, in order to prevent 
the designs and undertakings of our enemies, the French, 
which present would require a sum of a thousand Hob 


land florins for the five nations, consisting of ten castles, 
namely, the Mohawks, Oneidas, Nondages, Cayugas and 

"Fifth. That the people of Schanhectede were not to 
have any further privileges, for the land was solely 
granted them by the late General Stuyvesant that they 
should devote themselves to agriculture, with the ex- 
pressed condition not to trade with the Indians, which 
grant and condition was confirmed by the English 
governor NicoUs, according to his proclamation still in 

Having considered these requests, the council ordered 
that Fort Albany should "be called Fort Nassau and the 
village of Beverswyck, Willemstadt ; " — that the com- 
mandant of Fort Nassau should be instructed particularly 
to protect the Eef ormed Christian religion, and f aihng so 
to do, the petitioners should address themselves to the 
governor ; that the magistrates should be persons belong- 
ing to, or, at least, well affected toward the Reformed 
church ; and that the petitioners shoald enjoy the same 
privileges as they did in the time of the former Dutch 
government. Jeremias van Rensselaer was granted the 
same immunities for a year as had been previously 
granted him as director of the colony of Rensselaerswyck, 
meanwhile he was to obtain another confirmation of the 
rights of the patroon from the Lords States General. 

Lieutenant Andries Draeyer, on the twenty-sixth of 
September, was commissioned to take command of Fort 
Nassau, and to act as schout (sheriff) of Willemstadt 
and Rensselaerswyck. On the sixth of October, Gover- 
nor Colve sent these instructions to him : "Whereas, I 
have considered it ncessary for the greater advantage and 
welfare of the town of Willemstadt and the colony of 
Rensselaerswyck to change the form of government there, 


and to reestablish it according to the esteemed custom 
of our Fatherland, therefore I have thought proper to 
commission and qualify, as I do hereby commission and 
qualify, Andries Draeyer, commander of Fort Nassau, to 
be schout over the said town of Willemstadt and colony 
of Rensselaerswyck, and further from the nominations 
exhibited by the inhabitants of Willemstadt, I have 
selected and qualified for schepens (magistrates) for the 
ensuing year as follows : Gerrit van Slechtenhorst, Cor- 
nells van Dyck, David Schuyler, and Peter Bogardus. 

''And further, on the selection made by Sir Jeremias 
van Rensselaer, I have approved and qualified as schepens 
for the colony of Rensselaerswyck : Martin Gerritsen, 
Pieter Vounen and Hendrick van Nes. And finally, for 
secretary of the court, Johannes Provoost." ^ 

The governor further instructed the schout and the 
schepens to see that the Reformed Christian religion 
conformable to the teachings of the synod of Dort were 
maintained without permitting any other sects to militate 
against it. The governor having officially designated the 
Reformed church as ''the head church {de hooft kercke) 
of New Netherland, the Lutherans in Willemstadt peti- 
tioned that they might be permitted to continue their 
congregational meetings. The request of Myndert Fred- 
ricksen, Jan Heinderik Bruyns, Volckert Jansen, Hans 
Hendriksen and Hans Dreper, "in their own and in the 
name of the congregation of the Augsburg confession at 
Willemstadt" was granted by the Dutch governor, on the 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp, 593, 594, 595, 618, 62'7, 628. 

Accompanying these instructions, the following regulations for issuing 
rations to the soldiers of the garrison were found : "For each man, per 
week, 7 lbs. of beef or 4 lbs of pork ; 6 lbs. of bread ; >^ lb. of butter or 
the value thereof, 2 Holland stivers. For each man, per month, 1^ peck 
pease. For seven men, per week, y^ barrel small beer. For each man, for 
three months, 1 peck of salt. The sergeants shall receive \% rations each, 
and the corporals 1% each." Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 62^, 628. 


condition that they comported themselves ^'peaceably 
and quietly without giving any offense to the congrega- 
tion of the Eeformed church." Although the restricted 
Lutherans endeavored to comport themselves in the 
required manner, they soon found themselves in a per- 
plexing dilemma. As stated in their petition to Governor 
Colve, they were ''ordered to pay the sexton (aanspreecker) 
of the Eeformed church for the burial of their dead," 
although they had a sexton of their own. They also 
adverted to the fact that they had paid ''all taxes, 
assessments, excise, and all other levies," and had 
endeavored to pay the expenses of the care of their poor. 
As they thought that they ought not to be made answer- 
able for the payment of the exactions of the officers of 
the Eeformed church, but " ought to enjoy their religion 
and divine service free and unrestrained," they requested 
that they might employ a sexton of their own selection 
to bury their dead. The petition was signed by the Eev. 
Bernardus Arensius, Jan Heinderik Bruyns, Jochem 
Backer and Hans Hendriksen. ^ 

Governor Colve ordered that the sessions of the court 
of Willemstadt should "be held in the house [on the 
plot of ground now the northeast corner of Hudson 
Avenue and Broadway] formerly appropriated for that 
purpose by the English government," but when "affairs 
of government" were to be discussed^ the schout and 
schepens were to "hold their meetings in Fort Nassau." 
The United Netherlands being at war with France, the 
commander of Fort Nassau was instructed to "stop all 
correspondence with the Jesuits and Frenchmen from 
Canada," and to exercise such military precautions as were 
necessary for the safety of the port and the province.^ 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 653, 654 617. Doc. hist. N. Y. 
vol. iii. p. 525. 

2 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 652, 653, 654, 659 662, 6Y5. 


While Governor Colve was strengthening the differ- 
ent forts in New Netherland to resist the attacks of all 
enemies, the treaty of Westminster was signed on the 
nineteenth of February, 1674, in which it was stipulated 
that ''all lands, islands, cities, havens, castles, and fort- 
resses " taken by the United Netherlands from Great 
Britain during the war were to be restored to the latter 
power. By a new patent from King Charles II. of Eng- 
land, James the duke of York and Albany became again 
the lord proprietor of the territory of New Netherland. 

On the tenth of November, 1674, Governor Colve sur- 
rendered the province to his English successor, Major 
Edmund Andros. ^ Ensign Caesar Knapton was ordered 
to go to Willemstadt with Sergeant Thomas Sharpe and 
eighteen men to receive the surrender of Fort Nassau. 
Michael Siston was appointed sheriff of Albany and Rens- 
selaerswyck, and Richard Pretty, excise collector. ^ 

1 Major Edmund Andros was commissioned governor of New York by 
James, duke of York and Albany, at Windsor, July 1, 1674. 

2 General entries, vol. iv. pp. 300-304. Warrants, orders and passes, 
vol. iii. pp. 2-8, 38, 39. Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 61, 525. 




After the occupation of Fort Nassau, the surrender 
of Willemstadt to the officers of James, the duke of 
York and Albany, was accompanied with but a few 
other changes. The place was again named Albany. The 
late magistrates of the court of Willemstadt were re-ap- 
pointed by Governor Andros, and Johannes Provoost was 
retained as clerk. The governor espoused the cause of the 
persecuted Lutherans, and gave an open letter to Domine 
Bernardus Arensius, permitting him to remove his house- 
hold goods from New York to Albany, and *'to officiate 
there as pastor of the Augustine or Lutheran congrega- 
tion, as formerly under the English government, without 
any manner of Lett [delay], hindrance or molestacon 
whatsoever." ^ 

The heirs of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, desiring to obtain 
possession of the land on which the village of Albany 
had been erected, petitioned the duke of York and Al- 
bany to command Grovernor Andros to recognize their 
claims to it. They also solicited the Lords States G-en- 
eral of the United Netherlands to corroborate their state- 
ments '*with favorable letters of recommendation" to 

1 The document was sealed and signed by the governor, on the sixth of 
November, 1674. N. Y. general entries, iv. Vide Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. 
p. 525. 



his royal highness, the king of Great Britain. In their 
memorial to the Dutch government^ the petitioners said 
that after Kiliaen van Rensselaer had pm^chased the land 
in 1630 from the Indians, that "' he had planted a consid- 
erable colony there at his great cost, and from time to 
time had so improved it that a village or hamlet was 
founded there, which was at first called de Fuyck, after- 
ward Beverswyck^ and recently Willemstadt. Although 
James, the duke of York and Albany, on the twenty- 
third of July, 1674, referred the matter to Governor 
Andros, no action was taken in it for several years there- 

The French to secure the friendship of the Mohawks 
sent to their villages a number of Jesuit priests to teach 
them the religion of the Roman church. The Mohawks 
influenced by their loyalty to the Dutch inhabitants of 
Albany informed the latter of the designs of the French. 
This information the magistrates communicated to Gov- 
ernor Andros. In August, 1675, the governor visited 
Albany, and made a new treaty with the Mohawks, who 
reiterated their former promises of fealty to the duke of 
York and Albany. 

While at Albany the governor instituted a general 
court consisting of the commander of the fort, five or 
more of the magistrates of Albany and the manor of 
Rensselaerswyck, and two or more of the magistrates of 
Schenectady. The court was ordered to meet and sit 
once a year and to begin its sessions on the first Wednes- 
day in June, and to determine all cases under five hun- 
dred guilders. The court w^as empowered to choose 
yearly two magistrates of Albany and Rensselaerswyck 
and one of Schenectady, to go to New York and to assist 
at the general court of assizes held there. Robert Liv- 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 549, 550 ; vol. iii. pp. 224, 225. 


ingston was appointed clerk of the court of Albany and 
one of the members of the Albany board of Indian com- 
missioners, formed at this time by Gov^ernor Andros. ^ 

The ministers and members of the Reformed churches 
in New York and Albany were much aggrieved when, in 
compliance with the request of King Charles II., Gover- 
nor Andros made the Rev. Nicolaas van Rensselaer, who 
had been ordained a deacon of the Church of England, 
the colleague of the Rev. Gideon Schaets in Albany. They 
alleged that a person who had not been inducted into the 
ofiice of a minister of the Reformed Church as prescribed 
by the laws of their denomination was unqualified to per- 
form the duties of that office. Although the Rev. Van 
Rensselaer complained to the governor of the opposition 
of the offended people to his serving them as minister. 
Governor Andros took no steps to vindicate the assumed 
rights of the unpopular clergyman until the Rev. Wilhel- 
mus van Nieuwenhuysen, the Dutch pastor of the Re- 
formed church in New York, forbid the Rev. Van Rens- 
selaer to baptize the children of some of the members of 
the former's congregation. ^ The governor forthwith sum- 
moned the Rev. Van Nieuwenhuysen to appear before the 
provincial council to answer the charges presented by 
Domine Van Rensselaer. When the Dutch minister ap- 
peared before the council, on the twenty-fifth of Septem- 
ber, 1675, he made no denial of the allegations of the Rev. 
Van Rensselaer, but maintained that no one who had re- 

1 Robert Livingston was born at Ancram, Scotland, December 13, 1654. 
He emigrated to America in 1674, and settled at Albany. 

The minutes of the Albany board of Indian commissioners from 1675, 
were bound in 1751 in four large folios. Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol, xiii, 
pp. 483, 485, 486 ; vol. iii. pp. 254-257. 

2 The Rev. Nicolaas van Rensselaer had been ordained a deacon by the 
Right Rev. Earle, bishop of Sarum, and had preached in England to the 
Dutch congregation at Westminster, and had been chaplain to the Dutch 
embassador residing in London. 



ceived ordination as a deacon from the Church of England 
had sufficient authority to be admitted a minister in a 
Reformed church in the province to administer the sacra- 
ments without a certificate from one of the classes of the 
Reformed Church. 

The council was unable at this meeting to determine 
what action should be taken in the matter, and ordered 
that the Rev. Van Nieuwenhuysen should present a writ- 
ten answer, ''particularly whether the Ordination of y^ 
Church of England be not sufficient qualification for a 
Minister com23orting himself e accordingly, to be admitted 
to| officiate & administer y^ Sacraments, according to ye 
Constitucons of ye reformed Churches of Holland." 

The Rev. Van Nieuw^enhuysen, on the first of October, 
gave the following answ^er, which the council accepted as 
satisfactory : "A minister according to the order of the 
Church of England lawfully called, is sufficiently quali- 
fied to be admitted to serve and administer the sacraments 
in a Dutch church within his majesty's dominions, who 
had promised to conduct himself in his ministrations con- 
fer u] able to the constitution of the Reformed Church of 

Although the Dutch inhabitants of Albany possessed 
the friendship of the Mohawks and the Indians living 
farther westw^ard, they w^ere nevertheless often appre- 
hensive that the River Indians and those of New England 
might do them some evil. The direfal details of the 
burning of Northfield, Deerfield, Hadley, and Springfield, 
in Massachusetts, during the summer and fall of 1675, by 
the New England tribes under the leadership of the fa- 
mous Indian chief, King Philip, were heard with no little 
alarm by the settlers in Albany and Rensselaerswyck. 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 526-527. Historical Magazine, vol. 10. pp. 


To allay the increasing fears of the people, Governor An- 
dros, in October, sent Captain Anthonj^ BrockhoUs with 
more recuits to relieve Ensign Knapton of the command 
of Fort Albany. The provincial council ordered that no 
powder and lead should be sold "to any Indians whatso- 
ever at Albany '- except to the Mohawks and Senecas, 
'^ under the penalty of one hundred guilders beaver for 
each quarter of a pound and so proportionally for more 
or less, or corporal punishent, extending to life as the 
case " might " require." The commander of Fort Albany 
however, was allowed to furnish powder, " under his 
hand to some adjacent Mahicander [Mohegan] Indian, 
well known to him or the magistrates," but not more 
than ''one-quarter of a pound for the present hunting," 
and to provide ''some few such Indians," whom he knew 
desired ammunition for beaver- hunting, one pound of 
powder, with lead in proportion. This prohibition was to 
continue for six months after the date of its publication. 

About this time the people of Massachusetts Bay 
charged the Dutch settlers of Albany with selling powder 
and lead to the Indians under King Philip. When this 
accusation reached the ears of the burghers of Albany, 
they were highly incensed and undertook to discover 
who were the authors of this harmful report. They 
caused Nehemiah Pierce and James Pennyman to be ar- 
rested and sent to New York for " v/riting false storeys 
to Boston." 

In December, Philip with about a thousand Indians 
was reported to be forty miles distant from Albany. The 
Hudson being frozen, the people were greatly frightened. 
Runners were sent with dispatches to New York to ac- 
quaint Governor Andros of the approach of the New 
England Indians. As no troops could be conveyed from 
New York to aid in the defense of the place, Captain 


Brockholls, in January, enlisted the Mohawks into his 
service and sent them against Phihp. While the Mo- 
hawk warriors were absent from their villages, their old 
sachems, wives, and children remained in Albany. The 
river opening unexpectedly about the beginning of Febru- 
ary, ir)76. Governor Andros availed himself of the oppor- 
tunity to go to Albany, taking with him ' ' an additional 
force," arms, and annuunition on six sloops. On his 
arrival he found about three hundred Mohawk warriors 
in the village, who had returned the previous evening 
from the pursuit of Philip. They had attacked a party 
of about live hundred New England Indians under King- 
Philip, killing many and taking a number of prisoners. 

The fears of the people having abated, Grovernoi' An- 
dros, in March, returned to New York, leaving Fort 
Albany in command of Sergeant Sharpe. The dilapi- 
dated condition of the old fort was so apparent to Govei*- 
nor Andros that soon after his return to New York he 
gave orders foi- a new stockade-fort to be built on the 
hill, at the western end of Jonkers Straat, [now State 
Street,] near the present site of St. Peter's church, ''to 
defend and command the whole town of Albany." The 
four bastions of the fort were constructed that each 
might afford room for six guns. ^ When the new fort 
was built in June, Ensign Sylvester Salisbury was placed 
in command of it. Captain Goosen Gerritsen van Schaick, 
Lieutenants Martin Gerritsen and Jan Jansen Bleecker, 
were at this time the officers of the local militia. 

After the trial of the Rev. Wilhelmus van Nieuwen 
huysen in New York, the Rev. Nicolaas van Rensselaer 
was very unpopular with the membei's of the Reformed 
church in Albany. On Sunday, the thirteenth of Au- 
gust, 1076, he preached a sermon in Albany in which he 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 288, 242, ^254-258, 266, 26^ ; vol 
xiii. pp.491, 492. Philip's war. Hough. 120-142. 


made some ambiguous declarations respecting doctrines. 
Domine Schaets called them heretical, and wrote a letter 
to the consistory of New York expressing his opinion of 
the misleading statements made by his colleague. Domine 
Van Rensselaer was summoned before the church-council, 
(kerkenraad,) which found him guilty of preaching 
heresy. The matter was then brought before the magis- 
trates of the court of Albany on charges prepared by 
Jacob Leisler, a Clerman deacon of the Reformed church 
of New York, and by Jacob Milburne, an Englishman, 
living in Albany. A hearing was given the Rev. Van 
Rensselaer who, failing to exonerate himself from these 
charges, was imprisoned. The incarcerated clergyman 
appealed to the governor and council of New York. The 
latter immediately ordered his release from confinement, 
and the appearance of the parties befc^re them. At the 
trial Stephanus van Cortlandt appeai*ed for the Rev. Van 
Rensselaer. Upon the reading of all the evidence and 
papers in the case before the governor and council of the 
])rovince, the mayor, the aldermen, and the ministers of 
tlie city of New York, it was resolved, that if all the 
parties were willing to abide by the judgment of the ker- 
keuraad of the Reformed church in Albany, and the de- 
cision of the governor and council respecting the pay- 
ment of the costs, that the matter should have this adju- 
dication , 

Conformably to the orders of the governor and coun- 
cil of New York, an ''extraordinary court" was held in 
Albany, on the twenty-eighth of September, and the case 
was tried before Captain Silvester Salisbury, commandant 
of the fort. Captain Thomas Delavall, Captain Philip 
Schuyler, Richard Pretty, Dirck Wessells, Pieter Winne, 
Andries Teller, Jan Thomase, Maarten Grerritse, and 
Michael Siston, sheriff. The decision of the court is thus 


recorded : ''Eesolved unanimously and by [a] plurality 
of votes, that [the] Parties, [the Eev. Gideon Schaets and 
the Eev. Nicolaas van Eensselaei',] shall both forgive & 
forget as it become Preachers of the Eeformed Eeligion 
to do ; also that all previous variances, church differences, 
and disagreements, & provocations shall be consumed in 
the fire of Love ; a perpetual silence and forbearance being 
imposed on each respectively ; to hve together as Brothers 
for an example to the worthy Congregation, for edifica- 
tion to the Eeformed Eeligion, and further for the removal 
and banishment of all scandals. And in case hereafter 
any difference may occur or happen between them, they 
shall seek redress from the Consistory, to be heard there ; 
but [the] parties not being content with its award, the 
Consistory shall then state to the Governor who is in fault, 
who shall then be punished according to the exigency of 
the case. In like manner each was warned not to repeat 
or renew any more former differences or variances, under 
a penalty to be fixed by their worships of the Court." 

''The governor and council of New York, having re- 
ceived this return of the court, ordered that Jacob Leisler 
and Jacob Milburne should pay all the costs as they gave 
''the first Occasion of the Difference," and that Domine 
Van Eensselaer ^ should be free ''from bearing any part 
thereof." ^ 

In March, 167Y, Governor Andros was solicited by 
the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut to per- 
mit their commissioners to treat in Albany with the 
Mohawks to make peace with the New England Indians. 
This request was readily granted. In April, John Pynchon 
fi'om Massachusetts and James Eichards from Connecti- 

1 In 1677, Governor Andros deposed the Rev. Van Rensselaer from his 
office as a minister. In 1678, he died, and his widow, Alida Schuyler, in 
1683, became the wife of Robert Livingston. 

2 Doc. hist. N. V. vol. iii. pp. 527-530. 


cut made a treaty in Albany with the sachems of the 
Mohawks, who promised that their warriors should not 
^' go a fighting" in New England any more. 

The aggressive character of the Indians of Central 
New York was such that their forays had as early as l<iT2 
extended as far south as Maryland and Virginia. Launch- 
ing their canoes upon the head -waters of the Susque- 
hanna Eiver, the bold rovers proceeded southwardly on 
this long water-way into Pennsylvania, and thence to the 
wide expanse of the Chesapeake Bay, more than three 
hundred miles from their palisaded villages along the 
Mohawk and its tributaries. ^ The prowess of these ex- 
pert users of fire-arms became famous among the differ- 
ent tribes of Indians whom they conquered and put under 
tribute while on these summer excursions. The savage 
rapacity of the invaders often led them to kill the cattle 
and plunder the dwellings of the settlers ; and not infre- 
quently, to avenge some conceived wrong done the mem- 
bers of their tribes, they murdered th(3 isolated people of 
the frontier farms. 

To relieve the fears of the Indians and settlers of Vir- 
ginia and Maryland from further hostile acts of the New 
York tribes, Colonels Henry Coursey and Philemon 
Lloyd were sent by Lieutenant-governor Notley of Mary- 
land to Albany to make a league of friendship with the 
Mohawks, Onondagas, Oneidas, Cayugas, and Senecas. 
On the third, fourth, and fifth days of August, the Mary- 
land commissioners, having Gei-rit van Slechtenhorst and 

1 " It is one day's journey from the Mohawk Castles to the Lake whence 
the Susquehanna River rises. * * * [It is] one day and a half's journey by 
land from Oneida to the kill which falls into the Susquehanna River, and one 
day from the kill unto the Susquehanna River. * * * [Jt is] half a day's 
journey by land and one by Water from Onnondage before we arrive at the 
River. * * * From Cayuga [it is] one day and a half by Land and by 
water before arriving at the River. * * * From [the] Senekes' four 
Castles [it is] three days by Land and two days by water ere arriving at the 
River." Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. 1. p. 25d. 


Ariiont Oornelissen Viele and Akiis Cornells, an Indian, 
as interpreters, held conferences in the court-house and 
court-yard with a number of the sachems of these tribes. 
A treaty was made which the Indian chiefs promised 
their warriors would '* perform and observe," or as an 
Oneida sachem declared : ^^ We do make the covenant 
chain fast and clear like gold by which Corlaer ' [Gov- 
ernor AndrosJ and they of Maryland and Virginia and we 
are hnked, and we shall keep it untarnished.'' '^ 

In 1(378, the province contained about twenty-three 
towns and villages besides the city of New York. The 
courts were denominated petty courts, courts of sessions, 
and a general court of assizes. The petty courts had 
cognizance of actions of debt and trespass under the 
value of five pounds, and were in every town, village or 
parish in the province. The courts of sessions were held 
in different precincts of the province, one of which was 
Albany. The general court of assizes, composed of the 
governor and council and all the justices and magistrates, 
was held once a year in New York, The duke's laws, 
the first published on the first of March, 1664, at Hemp- 
stead, Long Island, and afterward altered and amended 
by the court of assizes held in New York, were the pre- 
scribed rules regulating the affairs of the province. The 
chief power of making and executing the laivs was vested 
in the governor and council of New York. A pillory or 
whipping-post and a pair of stocks for the punishment 
of light offences were erected in all the towns. Burglars 
and robbers were branded on their foreheads for their 
first offences and put to death for their third transgres- 
sions of the law. 

1 Governor Andros was called " Corlaer" by the Indians, who told him 
that it was the name of " a man [Arendt van Curler], who was of a good 
disposition, and highly esteemed by them." 

2 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 321-328. 


Every male inhabitant between sixteen and sixty years 
of age, except justices, sheriffs, constables, ministers, 
school-masters, physicians, surgeons, sick and deformed 
persons, was enrolled as a militia-man, who was required 
to possess a good serviceable gun, one pound of powder, 
twenty -four bullets, four flints, and certain accouter- 
ments. Every year there were four training days for 
the drill of the local militia, and once a year a general 
training of the militia of all the towns within the court- 
districts, or ridings as they were called. Besides the in- 
fantry-militia, there were also companies of troopers or 
cavalry. About two thousand able-bodied men composed 
the militia force, of which number about one hundred 
and fifty were horsemen. 

The fifth day of November was ordered to be annu- 
ally observed ''for the great deliverance from the gun- 
powder-treason " of Guy Fawkes and his companions, 
who had in 1605, attempted to blow up the parliament- 
house in London. The thirtieth day of January was 
designated as a day of fasting and prayer ' ' to shew a 
hearty and Serious Repentance and Detestation of that 
Barbarous Murther committed upon the Person " of the 
late King Charles I. of England. The twenty-ninth day 
of May was set apart for the celebration of the birth and 
restoration of Charles II. then king. Every minister in 
the province was enjoined to pray and preach on these 
days and all other persons were ordered to abstain from 
their ordinary employments and to observe these anni- 
versaries as prescribed by law. 

A merchant worth five hundred or a thousand pounds 
was considered " sl good substantial " man, and a farmer 
possessing half these amounts in property was deemed 
rich. In the province there were about twenty churches 
or meeting-houses, but the scarcity of ministers left 


about one-half of the pulpits vacant. Among the re- 
ligious denominations in the province, the Presbyterians 
and Independents were said to be ''the most numerous 
and substantial." 

Albany is described as having at this time ''a smale 
long stockadoed forte with f oure bastions in it, 12 gunns, 
sufficient agt Indians. " ^ 

On the seventh of June, 1678, Grovernor Andros was 
ordered to issue a patent to the heirs of Kiliaen van Eens- 
selaer by which they were granted the possession of the 
manor of Rensselaerswyck with such privileges and im- 
munities as they formerly had enjoyed, (except the 
possession of Fort Orange and its outworks, and the 
lands upon which they were). The houses which had 
been erected '' on some part of the premises " since 1652, 
were to remain in the possession of the persons owning 
them, who were ordered to pay to the patroon during 
the term of thirty-one years, beginning at the time when 
the letters-patent were issued, a yearly rent, which was 
not to exceed the value of two beaver-skins for the large 
houses, one beaver-skin for the ''middle sort," and the 
half of a beaver-skin for the smallest buildings. At the 
end of the thirty-one years, the rent of the houses was 
to be agreed upon by the two parties. ^ 

The Lutherans, who had erected a church on the plot 
of ground now the site of the City Building, on the west 
side of South Pearl Street, between Howard and Beaver 
streets, purchased the lot from Captain Abram Staets, 
on the twenty-eighth of March, 1680, the ground being 
conveyed to Albert Bratt, Myndert Frederikse, Anthony 
Lispenard, and Carsten Frederikse, elders and deacons 
of the Lutheran church. "The lot was described as 

1 Answers of Governor Andros to inquiries about New York in 1678. 
London doc. iii. Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 260-262. 

2 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 269, 270. 


being bounded on the east by the pubHc highway, 12 
rods 11 feet ; on the south by the first kill and the com- 
mon road, 21 rods 1 foot ; on the west by the little kill, 
{cleyn killitje,) 6 rods 1 feet ; and on the north by the old 
road, belonging to Mr. [Richard] Pretty, Jacob Sanders, 
Johannes Wendell, Myndert Harmense, and Hendrick 
Cuyler, 28 rods 5 feet Eyland [Rhineland] measure." ^ 

In the spring of 1680, Jasper Dankers and Peter 
Sluyter, two Labadist missionaries from Friesland, Hol- 
land, visited Albany. Their observations of the people 
and of the village furnish some very valuable as well as 
interesting information. In their journal, under the 
date of Friday, the nineteenth of April, they thus speak 
of their passage up the Hudson : 

"We left New York about three o'clock in the after- 
noon with a southerly wind, in company with about 
twenty passengers of all classes, young and old, who made 
great noise and bluster in a boat not so large as a com- 
mon ferry-boat in Holland ; and as these people live in 
the interior of the country somewhat nearer the Indians 
they are more wild and untamed, reckless, unrestrained, 
haughty, and more addicted to misusing the blessed name 
of God and to cursing and swearing. -^ ^ ^ They put 
on board some tons of oysters, which are not to be found 
at Fort Albany or away from salt-water. We made 
rapid progress, but with the night the wind slackened, 
and we were compelled to come to anchor in order to 
stem the tide. "" ^'' ''" 

'^ We had again this morning [Monday] a southerly 
breeze, which carried us slowly along until noon, when 
we came to anchor before the Fuyck and Fort Albany or 
Orange. Every one stepped ashore at once, but we did 
not know where to go. We first thought of taking lodg- 

1 Annals of Albany. Munsell. 1850. vol. i. pp. 128, 124. 


ings with our skipper, [Thomas Davidse Kikebell, the 
son-in-law of Domine Schaets,] but we had been warned 
that his house was unregulated and poorly kept. Mons. 
van Cleif, wishing to do us a kindness, had given us a 
letter of recommendation to Mr. Robert Sanders, ^ and 
M. de la Grange had also presented us to the same friend. 
We went ashore [on Sunday] just as preaching was over, 
to deliver our letter. This person as soon as he saw us 
at his house was pleased, and received us with every at- 
tention, and so did all his family, giving us a chamber 
for our accommodation. We did not remain his debtors 
but heartily served him in what was necessary, whether 
by instruction, admonition, or reproof, which he always 
received kindly as it seemed, promising himself as well 
as all his family to reform, which was quite necessary. 

''Mr. Sanders having provided us with horses, [on 
Tuesday, the twenty-third,] we rode out about nine 
o'clock, to visit the Cahoos which is the falls of the great 
Maquas kill, [Mohawk Eiver]. ^' '^ '^ 

'' On our return we stopped at the house of our guide, 
whom we had taken on the way up, where there were 
some families of Indians living. Seeing us, they said to 
each other, ^ Look, these are certainly real Dutchmen, 
actual Hollanders.' Robert Sanders asked them how 
they knew it. 'We see it,' they said, 'in their faces 
and in their dress.' 'Yes,' said one, 'they have the 
clothes of real Hollanders ; they look like brothers. ' 
They brought us some ground-nuts, but although the 
Dutch call them so, they were in fact potatoes, for of 
ground-nuts, or mice with tails [pea-nuts] there are also 

1 Robert Sanders, or Saunders, was a resident of Albany, and engaged in 
the fur trade. His knowledge of the languages of the Mohawk and River 
Indians was so extensive that he often acted as an interpreter between them 
and the English governors. Governor Francis Lovelace, September 1, 1670, 
gave him letters-patent to the tract of land called by the Indians Tascam- 
catick, now the site of Lansingburgh. 


plenty. They cooked them, and gave us some to eat, 
which we did. There was a canoe made of the bark of 
trees, and the Indians have many of them for the pur- 
pose of making their journeys. It was fifteen or sixteen 
feet or more in length. It was so light that two men 
could easily carry it, as the Indians do in going from one 
stream or lake to another. They come in such canoes 
from Canada, and from places so distant we know not 
where. Four or five of them stepped into this one and 
rowed lustily through the water Avith great speed, and 
when they came back with the current they seemed to 
fly. They did this to amuse us at the request of Mr. 
Sanders. '^ "' '^ On our arriving home in the evening, 
the house was full of people, attracted there out of curi- 
osity, as is usually the case in small towns where every 
one in particular knows what happens in the whole 
place. ^' " ^' 

'' The horses were got ready, [on Wednesday] and we 
left about eight o'clock for Schoonechtendeel, a place 
lying about twenty-four miles west oi' northwest of 
Albany towards the country of the Maquas [Mohawks]. 
We rode over a fine, sandy cart-road through a wood of 
nothing but beautiful evergreens or fir-trees, but a light 
and barren soil. " '" ^' The village proper of Schen- 
ectady, is a square, set oft' by palisades. There may be 
about thirty houses which are situated on the side of the 
Maquas kill, a stream they cannot use for carrying goods 
up or down in yachts or boats. There are no fish in it 
except trout, sun-fish and other kinds peculiar to rivers, 
because the Cahoos stops the ascent of others, which is 
a great inconvenience for the menange and for bringing 
down the produce. * ^ -^ 

''We went [on Saturday, the tAventy-seventh], to call 
upon a certain Madam Eentselaer, widow of Heer Eentse- 


laer, son of the founder of the colony of Eentselaers- 
wyck, comprising twelve miles square from Fort Orange, 
that is, twenty-four miles square in all. She is in pos- 
session of the place, and administers it as pati^onesse, un- 
til one Richard van Rentselaer, residing at Amsterdam, 
shall arrive in the country, whom she expected in the 
summer, when he would assume the management of it 
himself. This lady was polite, quite well-informed, and 
of good life and disposition. '^ ^ '^' The breaking 
up of the ice had once carried away her mansion, and 
every thing connected with it. '^ ^ "^ She treated us 
kindly, * ^ ^ We went to look at several of her 
mills at work, which she had there on an ever-running 
stream, grist-mills, saw-mills, and others. One of the 
grist-mills can grind 120 schepels of meal in twenty-four 
hours, that is five an hour. Returning to the house, we 
politely took our leave. Her residence is about a quarter 
of an hour from Albany up the river. ^ ^ ^ 

"We went to church in the morning, [Sunday, April 
28], and heard Domine Schaets preach, who, although 
he is a poor, old, ignorant person, and besides is not of 
good life, yet had to give utterance to his passion, having 
for his text, ' whatever is taken upon us,' ^^ cet., at which 
many of his auditors, who knew us better, were not well 
pleased, and in order to show their condemnation of it, 
laughed and derided him, which we corrected. In the 
afternoon, we took a walk to an island upon the end of 
which there is a fort built, they say, by the Spaniards. 
That a fort has been there is evident enough from the 
earth thrown up, but it is not to be supposed that the 
Spaniards came so far inland to build forts, when there 
are no monuments of them to be seen down on the sea- 
coasts, where, however, they have been according to 
the traditions of the Indians. This spot is a short 


hour's distance below Albany, on the west side of the 
river. ^ -^ * 

"We were invited to the fort [Fort Albany] by the 
Heer commandant, who wished to see us, but left it to 
our convenience. We went there [on Monday] with 
Eobert Sanders, who interpreted for us. That gentle- 
man received us politely. -^ ^ ^' If he was not a 
Scotchman, he seemed, nevertheless, to be a good Eng- 
lishman, and, as we thought, a Presbyterian. We soon 
took a friendly leave and returned home. ^ ^ ^ 

''Before we quit Albany, we must say a word about 
the place. It was formerly named the Fiiyck by the 
Hollanders, who first settled there on account of two 
roAvs of houses standing there, opposite to each other, 
which being wide enough apart in the beginning, finally 
ran quite together like afuyck, ^ and therefore, they gave 
it this name, which, although the place is built up, it 
still bears [this name] with many, especially the Dutch 
and Indians living about there. It is nearly square, and 
lies against a hill, with several good streets, on which 
there may be about eighty or ninety houses. Fort Orange, 
constructed by the Dutch, lies below on the bank of the 
river, and is set off with palisades, filled in with earth on 
the inside. It is now abandoned by the English, who 
have built a similar one back of the town, high up on 
the declivity of the hill, from which it commands the 
place. From the other side of this fort, the inhabitants 
have brought a spring of water, under the fort and under 
the ground into the town, where they have in several 
places fountains always of clear, fresh, cool water. 

" The town is surrounded by palisades, and has several 
gates corresponding to the streets. It has a Dutch Ee- 
formed, and a Lutheran church. The Lutheran minis- 

t A long net expanded on hoops which decrease in size toward the closed 


ter lives up here in the winter and down in New York 
in the summer. There is no EngUsh church, or place of 
meeting, to my knowledge. As this is the principal 
trading fort with the Indians, and as the privilege of 
trading is granted to certain merchants, there are houses 
or lodges erected on both sides of the town, where the 
Indians, who come from the far interior to trade, live 
during the time they are there. This time of trading 
with the Indians is at its height in the month of June 
and July, and also in August, when it falls off ; because 
it is then the best time for them to make their journeys 
there and back, as well as for the Hollanders, on ac- 
count of their harvests." ^ 

In the fall of 1680, the large and brilliant comet 
known as Newton's appeared in the southwestern sky. 
Its nearest approach to the sun was made on the eight- 
eenth of December. In the spring of 1681, the comet 
became visible. Its appearance caused many supersti- 
tious people to believe that the streaming-star portended 
extraordinary calamities. The magistrates of Albany 
as well as the inhabitants of the village were in great 
perplexity respecting the mission of the mysteriously 
moving body. The former, on the first of January, 
1681, wrote to Captain Anthony BrockhoUs in New 
York, saying : 

''Wee doubt not but yow have seen ye DreadfuU 
Comett Starr w^ appeared in ye southwest, on ye 9th of 
Decembr Last, about 2 a clock in ye afternoon, fair sunn- 
shyne wether, a little above ye Sonn, w^h takes its 
course more Northerly, and was seen the Sunday night 
after, about Twy-Light with a very f yery Tail or Streemer 
in ye West To ye great astoneshment of all Spectators, & 

1 Journal of a voyage to New York and a tour in several of the American 
colonies in 1679 and 1680, by Jasper Bankers and Peter Sluyter. Translated 
by Henry C. Murphy. Memoirs of Long Island Hist. Soc. 1867. vol. i. 


is now seen every Night wt Clear weather. Undoubt- 
edly God Threatens us w^ Dreadf uU Punishments if wee 
doe not Eepent. Wee would have Caused ye Domine Pro- 
claim a Day of fasting and humiliation to-morrow to be 
kept on Weddensday ye 12 Jany in ye Town of Albany 
& Dependencies — if we thought our Power & authority 
did extend so farr, and would have been well Eesented 
by Yourself, for all Persons ought to humble Themselves 
in such a Time, and Pray to (lod to Withdraw his Eight- 
eous Jugements from us, as he did to Nineve. Therefore 
if you would be pleased to grant your approbation wee 
would willingly cause a day of fasting & humiliation to 
be kept, if it were monthly." 

Captain Brockholls, whom Governor Andros had ap- 
pointed his deputy during the latter's absence from the 
province while visiting England, wrote to the alarmed 
magistrates saying : " Wee haue seen the Comett not att 
the time you mention only in the Evening The Streame 
being very large but know not its predicts or Events, 
and as they Certainly threaten Gods Vengence and 
Judgments and are prmonitors to us Soe I Doubt 
not of yor and each of yo^" performance of yi" Duty by 
prayer &c. as becomes good Christians Especially at 
this time. '-^ ^ ^ The Governor went hence the 7th 
and sailed from Sandy point [Sandy Hook] the Eleventh 

The age and disability of the Eev. Gideon Schaets 
caused the magistrates of Albany at the request of the 
membership of the Eef ormed church to ask the classis 
of Amsterdam to send the congregation an assistant 
pastor. The Eev. Godefridus Dellius was selected for 
the office. On the second of August, 1683, he arrived at 
Albany. For his salary, " it was resolved [by the magis- 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 852, 


trates] that [the] said De DeUius shall enjoy yearly the 
sum of nine hundred guilders Holland currency payable 
in pieces of eight ^ at forty stivers each, or in merchant- 
able beavers counted at two pieces of eight each, and his 
reverence shall receive his money quarterly on condition 
that if De Schaets should grow feeble or die, Dom. Del- 
lius shall perform the whole duty."^ 

''His reverence is further told that if the magistrates 
should agree with the inhabitants of Schinnectady re- 
garding divine service to be performed there, either once 
a month or once in six weeks, [the] said DeUius shall 

'i A Spanish dollar called a "piece of eight," having the value of eight 

2 The following burghers of the congregation contributed the respective 
sums opposite their names for the salary of Domine DeUius for one year : 
" Peter Schuyler 6, [pieces of eight,] Cornells van Dyck 6, Dirck Wessels 6, 
David Schuyler 6, Marte Gerritse, Ands. Teller 6, Gert. Swart 2, Jan J. 
Bleker 6, Hend. van Ness 4, Pr. Winne 3, Johannes Provoost 3, Richd. 
Pretty 4, Joh. Wendell 6, Jan Lansingh 4, Gabriel Thompson 4, Johannes 
Wandelaer 2, Albt. Rykman 4, Lawrence van Ale 2, Evert Wendell, jun^ 4, 
Harme Basteanse 2, Pr. Davitse Skuyler 2, Melgert Wynantse 2, Jan 
Becker, senr 2, Wynant Gerritse 2, Turck Harmense 1, Hendk. Bries 2, 
Jacob Abrahamse 2, Jan And. Cuyper 2, Myndt. Harmense 6, Gert Harden- 
bergh 4, Cornel van Skelluyne 1, Jacob Sanderse 4, Wm. Kettelheyn 2, 
Jan Byvank 3, Jan Nack 2, Johannes Ross 2, Cobus Turk 1, Wouter Al- 
bertse 2, Takel Dirkse 1, Jan Salomonse 1, Hend. Martense 1, Johannes V. 
Sante 1, Pieter Lookermans 1, Cobus Gerritse 1, Evert Wendell, senr 2, 
Wm. Gerritse 1, Johannes Martense Smitt 2, Jan Cornelise Vanderhoef 1, 
Jacob Voss 1, Jacob Meesen 2, Paulus Martense 1^, Pr. Bogardus 3, Gert 
Lansingh 3, Hendn. Lansingh 2, Jan van Haegen 3, Joseph Yetts ^, Jacob 
Ten Eyck 2, Claes Ripse 2, Claes Jacobse 2, Johannes Cuyler 3, Robt. 
Livingston 5, Adriaen Gert V. Papendorp 6, Marte Cregier 4, Lambt. van 
Valkenburgh 1, Jurean Teunise 1^, Jacob Staets 2, Barent Myndertse 2, 
Arnout Cornelise [Viele] 2, Annetje van Schayk 6, Jochim Staets 3, Gert 
Banken 3, Philip Schuyler's widow 8, Hend. Cuyler 6, Johannes Thomase 2, 
Teunis Slingerlunt 2, Harme d'Brower 2, Hend. Abelse 1, Jean Rosie 1, 
Wm. Claese 2, Gysbt. Marcelis 2, Bastiaen Harmense 1, Hend Hausen 1, 
Matthys Meesen 2, Robt. Sanderse 6, Joh. Roseboom 3, Joh. Abeel & sister 
3, Eghbert Teunise 5, Jan Gow 2, Jan Gilbert 1)4, Gert van Ness 2, Joh. 
Oothout, junr- 1, Pr. Meuse 1, John White 2. 

"These reside beyond the north gate and were spoken to by D. Wessels 
& J, Bleker : Antho Barentse 2, Wonter Aretse 2, Jan d'Noorman 1, Gerrit 
Ryerse 1, Claes van Bockhoven 1^, Pr. Quackenboss 2, Wouter Pieterse 1, 
Jan Pieterse 1, Reynier Pieterse 1, Dowe Funda 1, Marte Janse 1, Adam 


take his turn with Dom. Schaets to edify [the] said con- 
gregation, without being paid additional for it." ^ 

In September, IfxS!^, Colonel Thomas Dongan was 
commissioned by James, the duke of York and Albany, 
to be the governor of the province and its dependencies, 
(xovernor Dongan, reached New Yoi'k, on the twenty- 
iifth of August, 168;i 

Early in the fall of \i\syj, the agents of William Penn 
made overtures to the sachems of the Indian tribes of 
New York for the purchase of the land lying along the 
headwaters of the Susquehanna River belonging to the 
savages. The magistrates of Albany as well as the 
burghers were greatly disturbed when they learned that 
the Indians were inclined to part with the desired terri- 
tory. When Governor Dongan visited Albany at the 
beginning of September, the magistrates informed him 
of what they had heard. He ordered them to obtain at 
once trustworthy information concerning the proposals 
of Penn's agents and the disposition of the Indians 
respecting them. 

On the twenty-fourth of September, 1683, the magis- 
trates wrote as follows to Governor Dongan : ' ' Last 
night Arnout [Cornelissen Viele] ye Interpreter arrived 
here from ye Indians Westward and brings us news 

Winne 1, Jacob Solomonse 2, Teunis van der Poel 6, Luykes Pieterse 1, 
Antho. van Schayk 4, Ands. d'Backer '2, Meus Hoogeboom 1//^, Roelof Ger- 
ritse 1, Harme Lievese 3, Jan Grutterse 2, Jan van Ness 2, Bart Alb. Bratt 
4, Gert Hendrix [and] Ands. Carstense 2)^, Gert Lubbertse 2. 

"Farmers below: Jacob Janse Gardinier 4, Jeronemus Hansen 1, 
Wm. van Slyk 2, Gert Gysbertse 4. Frederick d'Drent 2, Hend. Maesen 2 
Hen. van Wie 1, Ryk. Machielse 1, Onnocre, the Frenchman 1, Jan Hen- 
dricxe 2, Mart Cornelise 3, Jurian Callier 1, Claes van Petten 2, Cornelise 
Teunise 2, Abraham van Bremen 1 , Melgert Abrahamse 2, Jan Thomase — , 
Cobus Janse 1, Johannes Janse 1, Albert Cato 2, Manus Borgerse 1, Geer- 
truy Vosburgh 2, Jacob Vorsburgh ])4, Jacob Claese 1. 350 pieces of 8." — 
Albany records. Fide Annals of Albany. Munsell. vol. vi. pp. 78, ^79, 80. 

1 Albany records. Fide Annals of Albany. Munsell. vol. vi. pp. IS 83 
Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 535, 537. 


yt ye four nations vizt Cajouges, Onondages, Oneydes & 
Maquase are upon there way hither and may be expected 
here to-morrow. Wee are credibly Inform'd of there 
wiUingness to dispose of ye Susquehanne Eiver, being 
verry glad to hear off Christians intending to come and 
live there, it being much nearer them then this place 
and much easier to get thither with there bever. The 
River being navigable wt Canoes till hard by there 
Castles, soe yt if W"^ Penn buys said Eiver, it Avill 
tend to ye utter Euine off ye Bevr [Beaver] Trade, 
as ye Indians themselfs doe acknowlege and Conse- 
quently to ye great Prejudice off his Eoyall highnesse 
Eevenues and his whole Territoryes in general, all which 
we doe humbly offer to your hon^s serious Consideracon. 
Wee presume that there hath not any thing Ever been 
mooved or agitated from ye first settleing of these Parts, 
more Prejudiciall to his Eoyal highnesse Interest, and 
ye Inhabitants of this his govern^ then this businesse 
of ye Susquehanne Eiver. The french its true have 
endevoured to take away our trade by Peace mealls 
but this will cutt it all off at once. The day after your 
hour departed, w^ee sent a draught of ye Eiver and how 
near there Castles lie to it, drawne by our Secri" [Eobert 
Livingston] as near as ye Indians could deskribe." 

Two days after a delegation of Cayuga and Onnon- 
daga sachems held a conference with the magistrates in 
the court-house. One of the Indian orators said : "I 
have slept but little through the night though I con- 
stantly tried, and think that the land cannot be sold 
without Corlaer's [the governor's] order, for we trans- 
ferred it to this government four years ago. Therefore 
we shall do nothing in the sale without Corlaer [Gov- 
ernor Dongan] or his order or those who represent him. 

'^ That land belongs to us Cayugas and Onnondagas 


alone ; the other three nations namely, the Sinnekes, 
Oneydes, and Maquaas have nothmg to do with it. 
•jf 'X- ^ ^g j3^Q^ convey and transport it again and 
give it to the governor-general or those who now repre- 
sent him." 

As tokens of the ratification of this agreement the 
magistrates presented to the Indian sachems a piece of 
duffel-cloth, two blankets, two guns, three kettles, four 
coats, fifty pounds of lead, and twenty-five of powder. ^ 

The notable change in the form of the government 
of the province, whereby the voice of the freeholders 
was to be substituted for the will of the lord-proprietor, 
had its consummation on the seventeenth of October, 
1683, when the first General Assembly of New York, 
began its sessions in Fort James, in the city of New 
York. Eighteen representatives were elected as ordered 
by Governor Dongan on the thirteenth of September, 
each of the three ridings of Long Island selecting two, 
Staten Island one, Pamaquid one, Martha's Vineyard 
and Nantucket one. New York and Haerlem four, Eso- 
pus two, Albany and Eensselaerswyck two, and Sche- 
nectady one. 

On the thirtieth of October, the General Assembly 
passed ''The charter of liberty s and priviledges, granted 
by his royal highness to the inhabitants of New York 
and its dependencies." By it ''the supreme legislative 
authority under his majesty and royal highness, James 
the duke of Albany and York," was intrusted to the 
governor, the council, and the people of the province. 
The governor was to exercise "the chief magistracy and 
administration of the government," assisted by a coun- 
cil. The sessions of the General Assembly were to be 
held once in three years at least, ''according to the usage, 

1 Dutch records. Vide Doc. history of N. Y. vol. i. pp. 260, 261. 


custom, and practice of the realm of England." The 
freeholders and freemen of the province were to have 
votes in electing representatives, and all elections were 
to be made by ''the majority of voices." 

On the first of November the law was passed to 
divide the province and its dependencies into shires 
and counties. By the act, the province was divided 
into twelve counties : New York, Westchester, Ulster, 
Albany, Duchess's, Orange, Richmond, King's, Queen's, 
Suffolk, Duke's, and Cornwall. 

As enacted, ''The county of Albany [was] to con- 
teyne the towne of Albany, the colony of Renslaers- 
wyck, Schonechteda, and all the villages, neighbour- 
hoods, and Christian plantacons on the east side of Hud- 
son's River, from Roelef Jansen's Creeke, [about twelve 
miles south of the city of Hudson,] and on the west side 
[of the Hudson River], from Sawyer's Creeke [Sauger- 
ties] to the Saraaghtoga [Saratoga] " ^ 

The companies of militia organized in Albany were 
put under the commands of Jan Janse Bleecker and 
Johannes Wendell, who were appointed captains of in- 
fantry on the fifteenth of December, 168-1. Pieter Schuy- 
ler, on the same day, was made a lieutenant of " a troop 
of horse." 

By the death of Charles 11. on the sixth of February, 
1684, and the succession of James the duke of York and 
Albany to the throne, the province of New York devolved 
upon his royal majesty and was annexed to the other 
dominions of the British crown. 

An event of no little importance to the people of the 
village, was the arrival of several commissioners from 
Virginia, in August, 1685, with a number of the sachems 

1 Passed November 1, lti8:i llde Annals of Albany. Munsell. vol. 
4, pp. H9. 


of the Pamunkey, Chickahoininy, Matapony, and Pow- 
hatan Indians to renew a treaty of peace with the Mo- 
hawks, Senecas, Oneidas, Onondagas^ and Cayugas. 
One of the Mohawk orators^, speaking of Albany as the 
place where they made their covenant-chains, called it 
the '^ House of Peace." 




The appearance of the village of Albany in 1685 was 
peculiar. Surrounded as it was by a fence of thick 
planks and heavy posts, thirteen feet long and planted 
upright in the ground, there was not much to be seen 
inside the stockade from the north and south roads that 
ran to the narrow gate-ways. The most conspicuous 
object that fell in the field of view from these points was 
Fort Albany with its gun-mounted bastions fenced with 
palisades. East of the fort, the roof and belfry of the 
Reformed church were in high relief. 

The houses in the village, about one hundred in num- 
ber, were mostly structures of logs, or of framed timber, 
weather-boarded. There were some that were built of 
brick. The few stone-buildings were of very rough 
masonry. Many of the houses were thatched with 
reeds, some were covered with shingles, and others were 
roofed with glazed tiles. Very few of the steep gable- 
roofs had eave-troughs, hence the occasional use of the 
descriptive phraseology ^'free drip" in the early con- 
veyances. Frequently small square dormer-windows 
were set in the roofs to admit light to the garrets, which 
were commonly used as sleeping-rooms. The chimneys 
were mostly built on the outside of the houses, at their 


gable ends, and were made wide and deep at the bottom 
for large fire-places. For warmth in winter long and 
thick pieces of wood were burned on these ample hearths, 
particularly in the kitchens, which in cold weather were 
usually the only rooms that had fire in them. Wide 
arched brick bake-ovens were often built at the back 
sides of these spacious kitchen fire-places, and the part 
projecting into the house-yard was generally covered 
with a shed-roof. 

The house-doors were mounted with long iron hinges 
set on strong iron staples. Frequently they were made 
in two horizontal sections, the upper one being opened 
in summer to admit light and air. The windows con- 
tained one or more sashes filled with small panes of glass 
set in grooves of lead. A door and one or two windows 
were the chief architectural features of the fronts of the 
plain buildings. Stoops, low wooden platforms with 
backed benches, were generally placed before the front 
doors. These porches on fair summer evenings were 
the favorite out-door sitting places of the villagers. 

In the best rooms of the wealthiest burghers' homes 
were bedsteads with high posts that almost touched the 
ceiling. They supported a cloth-canopy, from the frame 
of which long curtains hung down that nearly reached 
to the floor. The lower part of the bedstead, below the 
bedding, was draped with a short curtain called a val- 
ance. The quality and quantity of the furnishing of 
these best beds were matters of grave concern to the 
Dutch housewives. The feather-bed was enormously 
large. To get properly on it required considerable effort. 
Another feather-bed of less size was often used in winter 
for covering, a custom which originated the expression, 
''sleeping between feathers." In winter to give the 
lower bedding an agreeable warmth, a covered pan, made 


of copper or of brass, having a long wooden handle and 
containing hve coals, was sometimes, just before bed- 
time, carefully passed over it. 

Bare floors and unadorned walls were common in all 
the houses of the new settlement. By the side of the 
beds pieces of cloth lay commonly on the floor. Not 
infrequently clean sand was evenly spread over the 
uncarpeted floors, and the sand marked with fanciful 
designs. Besides the great bedstead, the furniture of 
the best room generally included a number of chairs 
and a small table. If the room had a fire-place, the 
small mantle above it sometimes gave shelf -room to a 
framed calendar, a pair of copper or brass candlesticks, 
and an hour-glass. 

The kitchen was the living-room of the family, 
especially in winter. In the spacious fire-place was a 
horizontal iron bar from which, by means of iron-hooks, 
the various kettles used in cooking were suspended. A 
large plate of iron, called the fire-plate, was frequently 
incased in the wall of the kitchen-chimney to protect the 
brick or stone-work from the crumbling effects of the 
large masses of burning coals. The heating of the bake- 
oven, the withdrawal of the coals, the swabbing of its 
ashy floor, the deft use of the peel or shovel on which 
the hemispherical masses of dough were deposited in the 
oven, the steaming kettles, the coal-covered ''Dutch 
ovens " in which meats were baked, the fowls hung up 
to roast, the dexterous basting, the delivery of the 
browned cakes from the long-handled waffle-tongs, the 
various skillets, the tall spiders, the covered pans, and 
other serviceable utensils, would be a strange sight to 
the accomplished cooks and housekeepers of the nine- 
teenth century. The dresser with its display of porce- 
lain, l3ewter, and wooden ware, the loom in the corner 


upon which the wife and daughters wove the hnen and 
woolen fabrics for the use of the household, the small 
and the large spinning wheels, the baby's crib, the rows 
of flat-irons on the mantle-piece ; the hams, the flitches 
of bacon, the cases of puddings and sausages, the pieces 
of jerked meat, the strings of red pepper pods, the 
bunches of dried herbs, the yellow ears of corn, all 
hanging from the heavy beams overhead ; the wooden 
trays and trenches, the high-backed settle, the long table, 
these and many other things gave a very unique and 
comfortable appearance to the kitchens of the first fami- 
lies of Albany. 

Here also were kept the curved piece of steel, the 
fire-stones {vwrsteenen) or fiints, the box of scorched 
linen, and the splinters of pine with sulphurous points 
to kindle fire. Occasionally in these kitchens, the friendly 
Mohawks, with their squaws and papooses found shelter 
from the weather of a winter's night, and saw the hospit- 
able Dutchmen dandling their little children on their 
knees while their busy wives sat at their looms casting the 
thread-bearing shuttles through the warps of some de- 
sired cloths. And while the whistling wind drew great 
tongues of flame from the crackling wood on the kitchen 
hearths, the silent Wilden often heard the Dutch fathers 
sing this old nursery-song of the Fatherland to theii* 
wakeful babies : 

'' Trip a troup a tronjes, 

De varkens in de boonjes, 

De koejen in de klaver, 

De paarden in de haver, 

De kalven in de lang gras 

De eenden in de water plas 

Zo groot mijn klein poppet je was.'' ^ 

1 See note on page 188. 


When the bell of the Eeformed church rang the cur- 
few, at eight o'clock at night, the people of the village 
carefully covered the coals on the kitchen-hearths with 
ashes and went to bed. About sunrise, tall columns of 
smoke began to ascend from the chimneys, and shortly 
afterward the risen families were eating their morning 
meals of plain but substantial food. In lieu of coffee 
beer was the common table-beverage. In winter many 
of the men of the village went into the hill-side forest 
to fell trees that were afterward sawed into plank, 
hewed into shape for house-timbers, split into fence- 
rails, cut into proper lengths for palisades, or chop- 
ped into fire-wood. From the hill-side came the sounds 
of the vigorously wielded axes, from the grain-strewed 
barn-floors the cadenced beat of flying flails, and from 
blacksmiths' anvils the musical verberation of ringing 

In the early part of the morning, in other seasons of 
the year, here and there along the streets of the village, 
cows with tinkling bells were waiting to be driven to 
pasture by the public herder. ^ 

1 " Trip a troup a tronjes " 

The pigs in the beans, 

The cows m the clover, 

The horses in the oats, 

The calves in the long grass, 

The ducks in the water-place, 

So great (happy) was my little poppet. 
2 "-Conditions and proposals according to which certain burghers of 
Albany are minded to employ a herder for their cattle. First, the herder 
shall be holden to guard the cattle at his own expense, also to keep a proper 
youngster with him to watch the cattle, and shall begin to go out with them 
on the twentieth of April, 1667, {jiew style), and not leave off before the 
sixteenth of November. Second, the herder, every morning before or with 
the rising of the sun, shall three times blow with his horn, and then with 
the youngster and cattle go out where they can best get feed for the cattle, 
or where the masters (the undersigned) shall order, and about a quarter of 
an hour before the sun goes down, he shall deliver the cattle at the church. 
Third, if the animal or animals shall receive injuries through the neglect of 


The interiors of the shops were unattractive. Few 
of the goods in them were exposed to view. The shelves 
were filled with cases, packages, and jars. Barrels and 
boxes inconveniently occupied the floors. The merchants 
vended silks, Haarlem damasks, bombazines, serges, red, 
white, and blue kersey, duffel-cloth, calico, Osnabruck 
and Flemish linens, thread, buttons, hooks and eyes, boots, 
shoes, Iceland and Friesland stockings, sugar, molasses, 
{strop,) spices, drugs, hardware, crockery, brandy, wine, 
rum, tobacco, guns, ammunition, and general produce. 

Outside the inns hung square sign-boards, on which 
were the names of the landlords and of the houses, and 
the painted representations of some such objects as a 
sickle and a barley-sheaf, a beaver and a lodge, or a 
green tree with wide-spreading branches. These pictures 
often became the common designations for the taverns. 
The beer, wine, and strong water sold in them were care- 
fully measured by the farmer of the liquor-excise, who 
derived considerable profits from his exclusive privilege 
to collect certain fixed rates on the quantity of liquor 
sold by each tapster and innkeeper. The patroon's 
brewery supplied the tap-rooms of the village Avith most 
of the beer drank in them. ^ The local ordinances regu- 

the herder, then the herder shall be held to make full recompense for the 
animal or animals (according to value). Fourth, if the herder shall be found 
sitting and drinking in any tavern, he shall each time forfeit ten guilders 
zeewan. If an animal or any animals happen to die or run away within the 
[first] half of the aforesaid time, then not more than half of the herder's 
recompense shall be paid, and that punctually at that time. In like manner 
also, shall all those who have their cattle herded be held. * * * 

" On the aforesaid condition Uldrick Kleyn accepted the contract and for 
his pains is to receive twenty guilders in zeewan for every large animal, or 
for two heifers in place of a large animal, and shall acknowledge and obey 
Juriaen Theunisse and Arnout Cornelisse [Viele] as his superiors for his 
masters. * * * For the confirmation of the same, ihey have subscribed 
with their own hands this paper, without craft or guile, this 2 of April, 
1667." Vide Albany county records. Collections on the history of Albany. 
Munsell. vol. iv. p. 430. 

1 In 1649, three hundred and thirty tuns of beer were made in the patroon's 


latiiig the frequenting of the village tap-rooms were 
strictly enforced. Fines were imposed on persons found 
in them after the ringing of the curfew-bel], and the 
proprietors were mulcted for permitting men to be in 
them during sermon-time on Sundays. For the diver- 
sion of their customers some of the tapsters had trock- 
tables in their bar-rooms. The shape of these tables was 
somewhat similar to that of pool-tables. From the sur- 
face of the table, near one end of it, projected a small 
arch of wire, under which an ivory ball was placed be- 
fore it was struck with a cue to roll into one of the 
pockets at the corners of the table. 

The most noticeable structure in the village was Fort 
Albany surrounded with pine-palisades fifteen feet high. 
Another one was the Reformed church standing at 
the opposite end of Broad (State) street, at its intersec- 
tion with Handelaar street. Its block-house architecture 
gave it a very unique appearance. The interior of the 
building was plainly furnished with benches. The small 
pedestal-pulpit with its flight of narrow steps and 
curved balustrade, purchased in Holland in 1657, occu- 
pied a small space at the end of the centre aisle. ^ From 
the vaulted ceiling hung a chandelier on the branches of 
which were oil lamps. Sconces containing candles pro- 
jected from the walls near the lines of seats. The gal- 
leries contained sittings for a considerable number of 

The Sunday services in the church in early summer 
were attended by a large number of the people of the 

1 The pulpit is about four feet in height and about three in diameter. It 
has eight sides, one of which is hinged, being the pulpit-door. Its small 
panels, mouldings, and other wood-work are of oak. 

2 In 1682, when a new gallery was made on the north side of the church, 
twenty-four persons were given seats on it for their contributions for its 
erection. Robert Livingston, who obtained the contributions, was rewarded 
with a seat on it for himself and his posterity. 


manor. In the village, the mornings of the holy days 
began with a restful and enjoyable quietude. Save the 
tinkle of the copper-bells upon the coavs going to pas- 
ture, the crowing of the cocks, and the barking of the 
dogs, but few other week-day noises disturbed the Sab- 
batic repose of the place. About nine o'clock the bell 
was rung to announce to the villagers the dressing-time 
for church. Before the ringing of the second bell, an 
hour later, the church-going country-people were on the 
roads leading to the village-gates. Many of the farmers 
who rode horses seated their wives behind them on 
pillions or cushions attached to the saddles, and in 
like manner the farmers' sons rode with their sisters. 

Near the church were long sheds in which the horses 
of the country people attending church were stalled. 
About them and the church, the early-arrived farm- 
ers gathered in groups to talk and detail the news of 
the manor. When tlie second bell began to ring the 
people of the village left their homes and decorously bent 
their steps toward the church. At the church-door the 
assembling villagers met their relations and friends liv- 
ing in the manor with brief greetings and interrogations. 

Whatever consideration was bestowed upon dress by 
the people of Albany and Eensselaerswyck, little pride 
was expressed by diversities of style and material. 
Durability but not fineness, simplicity but not pretti- 
ness, propriety but not oddness were the manifest dis- 
tinctions in the clothing of the settlers. The men com- 
monly wore peaked, broad-brimmed felt-hats or small 
circular woolen caps, jackets extending over the hips, 
waistcoats, short breeches, long stockings, buckled 
shoes, cravats or wide-spreading linen collars. Euffs, 
frilled shirt-bosoms and cuffs, embroidered waistcoats, 
velvet coats, and top-boots were the exceptional habil- 


iments of state-dignitaries and wealthy men. Leather- 
breeches and leggins, deer-skin coats, and fur caps were 
not infrequently worn by farmers and other out-door 

The matrons and maidens made more noticeable 
displays of clothing. Many of their dresses were 
sleeveless. To give contour to waist and bust, some 
wore stomachers and bodices. Tastefully made caps, 
hoods, wide white ruffs, pretty laces, colored petticoats 
were attractive articles of female apparel. In winter 
the women wore mantles, cloaks, and other outer gar- 
ments, some of which were decorated with fur. 

The church-services were conducted by the minister 
and the voorlezer. The latter read the lessons and led 
the singing. The long sermon was timed by the falling 
sand of an hour-glass placed at the side of the pulpit- 
desk. The deacons collected the contributions of the 
congregation, going along the aisles and passing small 
bags hung at the ends of long, slender rods, in front of 
the seated people. At one time a little bell was concealed 
in the tassel of the money-sack, the tinkle of which inti- 
mated to the contributors the approach of the collectors. 
Pewter and silver-plates were also used at one time in 
taking contributions. 

Christmas-day {Kersdag), Easter-day (Paaschdag), 
Ascension-day ^Hemelvaartsdag) andWhitsuntide {Pings- 
terdag)^ were observed with a religious enthusiasm 
peculiar to the people of Holland. Absence from church 
on these particular festival days, except by sickness, in- 
firmity, and accident, was regarded as discreditable to 
communicants. The magistrates of the court and the 
officers of the church were honored with prominent 
seats in front of the congregation. 

The duty of attending the regular services of the 


church was deemed to be so obhgatory that in the coldest 
weather large congregations compliantly assembled and 
sat in the unheated building. Persona] comfort often 
caused Domines Schaets and Dellius to preach with their 
woolen caps on their heads and thick gloves on their 
hands. The men in the congregation wore their hats 
and caps, and many brought muffs in which they kept 
their hands. Some of the women sat with their feet on 
small stoves conveyed to the church filled with live 

The church records contain considerable information 
respecting the affairs of the society. ^ They not only 
disclose much that is interesting to those who are now 
members of the Eeformed church, but they furnish 
many important facts relating to the early history of the 

1 The annual accounts of the different deacons generally begin with 
such prefatory paragraphs as the following: "Honor be to God in 
Albany and the colony of Rensselaerwyck, i^Eere sij Godt jii Albanie en 
Colonie Rensselaers Wyclz)y The contents of the treasury-chests, described 
by the deacons who took charge of it at the beginning of each year, 
were peculiar to the period. On the first of January, 1665, the church-chest con- 
tained loose zeewan {Jos seiuaent) valued at three hundred and thirty guilders 
and four stivers, ($18*2.08,) strung zeewan {geregent seiaa^it) valued at two 
hundred and twenty-eight guilders and six stivers, ($91.32,) sixteen obliga- 
tions {obligasse) amounting to two thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine 
guilders and thirteen stivers, ($1131.86,) four guilders and twelve stivers 
($1.84,) in silver money {seelver gelt), making a total of thirteen hundred and 
fifty-seven dollars and ten cents. There were also in the church strong-box 
fifty-one ells of Flemish linen and nine pairs of Friesland stockings. Gener- 
ally the contributions of the people exceeded the current expenses of the 
church, and the officers frequently loaned its money to the members of the 
congregation at high rates of interest. Eight per cent, was sometimes paid 
for the use of such money. The zeewan or shell-money that formed a part 
of the contributions to the church was often sold at a premium. In 1683, 
Pieter Schuyler, the deacon keeping the accounts of the church, enters upon 
the account-book the loan of four thousand eight hundred guilders to Jacob 
Meuse, by the advice of the consistory. The expenses of the church on the 
thirtieth of January, observed as a day of fasting and prayer " to divert God's 
heavy judgment from falling" on the English nation for the execution of 
Charles I. of England, were seventeen guilders. In April, the Paasch day 
collections amounted to one hundred and ninety-one guilders and ten stivers 


When a death was announced by the slow rmging of 
the church-bell, the aanspreeker (the inviter), attired in 
black clothing, wearing a black hat around which a long 
projecting piece of crape of the same color was bound, 
visited the relatives and friends of the deceased person 
and requested them to attend the funeral. Before the 
burial of the corpse, a number of persons were selected 
to watch the body at night to detect any signs of life 
that might be manifested. The watchers, as was the 
custom, were liberally provided with various liquors, a 
number of pipes, a quantity of tobacco, some newly- 
baked cakes, and other refreshments. The funeral on 
the third or fourth day after the death of the person 
about to be buried was usually attended by a large con- 
course of people. The cof5Sn, covered with a fringed 
black cloth, with corner-tassels, called the dood-kleedj (the 
dead-cover,) was borne to the grave-yard ^ on a wooden 
bier either resting on the shoulders of the bearers, or by 
the projecting arms of the frame-work grasped in the 

($76 60). Five gallons of wine were used in the administration of the holy 
sacrament. Myndert Frederickse in August was paid four guilders ($1.60), 
for a ring for the collection bag and Jan Vinhagel received two guilders for 
making a new bag. In November, Maese Cornelissen was paid thirty-six 
guilders for seventeen candlesticks to be used in the church during the 
evening services. Twelve guilders was the price of a new Psalm-book for 
the pulpit. In December, six guilders and five stivers were disbursed for 
one and a half ankers (fifteen gallons) of beer for a pauper. For setting the 
communion-table during the year, Hendrick Roseboom was paid thirty 

Among the things for which he was accountable, the deacon transferred 
to his successor a silver goblet, pawned for two hundred guilders and thir- 
teen and a half stivers, containing sixteen pieces of foreign money. From, 
his custody was also transferred one new pall, two old ones, two communion- 
table cloths and seven napkins, two silver cups, one earthen can with a silver 
lid, a pewter can, an earthen one, two pewter basins and a large pewter 
plate, one cobweb-brush, and a scrubbing brush. 

1 The grave-yard of the Reformed church was a plot of ground between 
Beaver Street and Hudson Avenue, Green and South Pearl Streets. 

The burial-ground of the Lutherans was on the west side of South Pearl 
Street, between Howard and Beaver Streets. 


right or left hands of the carriers. After the burial the 
attending people returned to the house from which the 
corpse had been taken, where they were generously 
served with various refreshments of which liquors formed 
the greater part. In the church accounts for the year 1 f)82, 
one hundred and fifty guilders and eleven stivers are 
entered as the burial expenses of a church-pauper, of 
which amount twelve guilders were expended for five 
cans of rum, tAvo pieces of eight and twenty-four guild- 
ers for the services of the bearers, twenty-four guilders 
and four stivers for fifteen gallons of beer. 

Collections for the church -poor were frequently taken 
at marriage-services and at wedding-parties. When 
Rtephanus van Cortlandt and Gertrude Schuyler were 
married in the Reformed church, on the third of October, 
I<>71, thirteen guilders and six stivers were contributed 
to the poor-fund, and at the reception-party on the fol- 
lowing day, fifteen guilders and nineteen stivers were 

The change of government from that of the West 
India Company to that of the lord-proprietor, James, 
the duke of York and Albany, put in force a number of 
peculiar laws : 

' ' If any person within this Oovernment shall by 
direct exprest, impious or presumptuous ways, deny the 
true God and his Attributes, he shall be put to death.'' 

''If any Child or Children, above sixteen years of 
age and of Sufficient understanding, shall smite their 
Natural Father or Mother, unless thereunto provoked 
and forct for their selfe preservation from Death or 
Mayming, at the Complaint of the said Father and 
Mother, and not otherwise, they being Sufficient wit- 
nesses thereof, that Child or those Children so offending 
shall be put to Death." 


" Ministers are to Marry Persons after legal publica- 
tion or Sufficient Lycence." 

^' Legal publication shall be so esteemed when the 
persons to be married are three Several Days asked in 
the Church, or have a Special License/' 

''Where no Church or Meeting place shall happen 
to bee, a publication in writing shall be first fourteen 
Days before Ma.rriage upon three doors of each parish 
whereof the partyes Inhabit (viz.) one on the Consta- 
bles the other two upon any two Doors of the Overseers 
of the Parish unless they produce a Lycence from the 




In May, 1686, when Governor Dongan was in Albany, 
a number of the prmcipal men of the village solicited him 
to execute letters-patent under the seal of the province 
by which the place should be Diade a city with larger 
boundaries and particular privileges. The property-own- 
ers desired better and more satisfactory titles to what 
was possessed by them than had been given by the magis- 
trates of Beverswyck, by those of Albany after the sur- 
render of the province to the English in 1664, by those of 
Willemstadt, and by those appointed by Governors An- 
dros and Dongan. 

The governor was also asked to set apart the stadt- 
house or court-house, the JJeformed church, the grave- 
yard near the palisades, at the south side of the village, 
and the w^atch-house, for the use and benefit of the in- 
habitants. He was also requested to give the people the 
land commonly known as ''the pasture," on the south 
side of the palisades, belonging to Martin Garretson, and 
also that of Caspar Jacobse. He was also begged to in- 
clude with the former the several pastures north of 
them, owned and occupied by Eobert Sanders, Mindert 
Harmense, and Evert Wandall, and the several gardens 
possessed by Direck Wessels, Abraham Staets and Kiliaen 



van Rensselaer, He was also requested to give to the 
people the ferry from the village to Oreenbush. 

Willing to comply with the request of the people of 
Albany, Governor Dongan took steps to obtain from the 
Van Rensselaer-heirs a relinquishment of their claims to 
the territory that was to become a part of the city. In 
his explanations to King James's privy council, he thus 
speaks of the Van Rensselaer-claim to the land near the 
site of Fort Orange : 

" It [the pasture] was never yet in the King's hands, 
but hee that was the commander [of the fort] took some 
Profits of it, which was a great grievance to the people 
it having been patented by Governor NicoUs to several 
people & by them built upon, whose Buildings have been 
since carried away by the overflowing of the River. It 
does not contain above fifteen or sixteen acres. "' '' " 

•'The Town of Albany lyes within the Ranslaers 
Colony. And to say the truth the Ranslaers had the right 
to it, for it was they settled the place, and upon a peti- 
tion of one of them to our present King [King James 11. J 
about Albany the Petitioner was referred to his Ma^ys 
Council at Law, who upon perusal of the Ranslaers 
Papers, made their return that it was their opinion that 
it did belong to them. Upon which there was an ordei' 
sent over to S^ Edmund Andros that the Ranslaers should 
be put in possession of Albany, & that every house should 
pay some two Beavers, some more, some less, according to 
their dimensions, P^ annum, for thirty years & afterwards 
the Ranslaers to put what rent upon them they could 
agree for.— What reason Sir Edmund Andros has given 
for not putting these orders into execution I know not. 

'' The Ranslaers came & brought mee the same orders 
which I thought not convenient to execute, judging it 
not for his Ma^ys Interest that the second Town of the 


Cxovernment & which brings his Ma^y soe great a Reve- 
nue, should bee in the hands of any particular men. The 
town of itself is upon a barren sandy spot of Land, & 
the Inhabitants live wholy upon Trade with the Indians. 
By the nieanes of M^ James Graham, Judge [John] 
Palmer & M^ [Stephanus van] Cortlandt that have great 
influence on that people, I got the Ranslaers to release 
their pretence to the Town and sixteen miles into the 
Country for Conunons to the King, with liberty to cut 
firewood within the Colony for one & twenty years. Af- 
ter I had obtained this release of the Ranslaers I passed 
the Patent for Albany, wherein was included the afore- 
mentioned Pasture, to which the People apprehended 
they had so good a right that they expressed themselves 
discontented at my reserving a small spot of it for a gar- 
den for the use of the Grarrison. 

''That the people of Albany has given mee seven hun- 
dred pounds is untrue. I am but promised three hundred 
pounds w^hich is not near my P^ quisits, viz. ten shillings 
for every house & the like for every hundred acres patent- 
ed by mee." ^ 

The charter by which the village of Albany became a 
city was signed by Governor Dongan on the twenty- 
second day of July, 1686. The territory of the city was 
limited by the following described boundaries : '' On the 
cast by Hudsons River, so f arr as low water mark ; " on 
'' the south, by a line -^ '^ '^ drawne from the south- 
erniost end of the Pasture at the north end of ''' '^ *^ 
Martin Garetsons Island, runneing back into the woods 
sixteen English miles due Northwest to a certain kill or 
Creek called the Sand-kill ; on the North" by ''a line 
^f ^^ -X- (Jrawne from the post that was sett by Governor 

1 Report of Gov. Dongan, Feb. 22, 108'7. Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. 
iii. pp. 410, 411. 


Stuyvesant near Hudsons river, ruiiiieing likewise North- 
west sixteen English miles ; and on the West by a straight 
line '^' "■ ^ drawne from the points of the said South 
and North lines." 

The municipal officers were to be a mayor, a recorder, 
a chamberlain or treasurer, six aldermen, six assistant 
aldermen, a town-clerk, a sheriff, a coroner, a clerk of 
the market, a high constable, three sub-constables, and a 
marshal or '' sergeant-at-mace." The mayor, the recorder, 
the aldermen and their assistants were during their terms 
of office to be '' One Body corporate and Politick, in deed 
ffact, and name,"* to be known by ''the name of the 
mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city of Albany/' 
The governor named and constituted the following per- 
sons the first officers of the city : Peter Schuyler, mayor, 
Isaac Swinton, recorder, Robert Livingston, town-clerk, 
Direck Wessells, Jan Jans Blocker, David Schiiyler, 
Johannes Wendell, Levinus Van Schaick, and Adrian 
(xeritse, aldermen ; Joachim Staets, John Lansing, Isaac 
Verplanck, Lawrence van Ale, Albert Ryckman, and 
Melgert Wynantse, assistant aldermen ; Jan Becker, 
chamberlain, Richard Pretty, sheriff, James Parker, mar- 

The mayor and the sheriff of the city were to be 
annually nominated '' upon the ffeast day of St. Michael, 
the Archangel,'' [September 29th,J by the lieutenant-gov- 
ernor of the province. The recorder and town-clerk were 
also to be appointed by the lieutenant-governor, but no 
specified time was designated for their terms of office. 
The other officers except the chamberlain were to be 
elected by the majority of the voices of the inhabitants, 
annually on St. MichaeFs day. The chamberlain was to 
be chosen yearly on the same day by the mayor and 
three or more aldermen of each class. 


The mayor was given the sole power and anthority to 
issue Ucenses under the seal of the city. He was to per- 
form the duties of the office of the clerk of the market 
and of those of the coroner. Once every fortnight, on 
Tuesdays, a court of common pleas was to be held, at 
which the mayor or the recorder, and two aldermen were 
to hear and determine pleas and actions. The mayor, 
the recorder, and the aldermen were to be justices of the 
peace and were to sit at the courts of sessions, or the 
county courts, and the courts of oyer and terminer, one 
of whom was to preside at such county courts. 

The mayor or any three or more of the aldermen had 
^*^full power and authority under the comon scale to 
make free cittizens of the said citty and liberty es thereof; 
and no person or persons whatsoever other than such 
ffree cittizens'' could exercise ''any Art, Trade, mystery 
or manuall occupacion within the emd citty, libertyes, 
and precincts thereof , saveing in the tymes of ffayres." 
To obtain such freedom of the city, the person desir- 
ing to pursue the business of a merchant or a trader 
was required to pay a sum not exceeding three pounds 
twelve shillings, and one wishing to engage in some 
some handicraft was to pay the sum of thhiy-six shillings. 
Wednesday and Saturday in each week v/ere to be the 
city market-days. 

The mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city 
were granted ''full liberty and lycense att their pleasure 
to purchase from the Indians, the quantyty of ffive Hun- 
dred Acres of Low or Meadow Land lyeing att a certeyne 
place called or knowne by the name of Schaihtecogue," 
and also ''the quantity of one Thousand Acres of Low^ 
or Meadow Land, lyeing att a certeyn place called or 
known by the name of Tionondorogue,'' paying annually 
to his majesty's officer or receiver, in Albany, on the 


twenty -fifth day of March, a quit-rent of one beaver- skin. 

The mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the city 
were also granted forever by the charter ''the sole and 
onely management of the trade with the Indians, as well 
within thiss w^hcle County ( of Albajiy] as without the 
same, to the Eastward, Northward, and Westward 
thereof as farr ashis Majestyes Dominion " extended, '' to 
bee managed and Transacted onely by the ffreemen, be- 
ing actuall Inhabitants within the said citty and within 
the now walls or stockadoes thereof, and not elsewhere.-' 
And ''all and every the Inhabitants of the sayd Province 
of New York, (the Inhabitants of the said citty of Albany 
onely excepted) " were prohibited "to trade or traffique 
with any of the ffive Nations of Indians called the Sini- 
caes, Caijugaes, Onondagues, Oneides, & Maques, who 
live to the westward, or with any other Indian or Indians 
whatsoever within the county of Albany, or to the East- 
ward, Northward or Westward thereof, so far as his 
■' '• ''* Majestyes Dominions'' extended, '^or to have 
or keepe in their houses or elsewhere any Indian goods 
or Merchandize, upon the payne and penalty of the ffor- 
feiture and confiscation of such Indian comodityes, 
whether the same be Bevers, Peltry, or other Indian 
comodityes whatsoever, (Except Indian corne. Venison, 
and dressed deer-skins).'' 

The mayor, recorder, aldermen and the assistant 
aldei-men, or the mayor and any three or more of the as- 
sistant aldermen were to be called the common council of 
the city, and they or the greater part of them had full 
power and authority to call and hold common council 
within the common council-house or city hall, and there 
to make law^s, orders, ordinances, and constitutions in 
writing for the good rule, oversight, correction, and gov- 
ernment of the city. 


The charter provided that his majesty, his heirs, suc- 
cessors, assigns, commanders in chief, lieutenants, gov_ 
ernors, and the officers under them were not to be 
deprived of any rights and privileges which they had in 
Fort Albany and in the city.^ 

The following record discloses the action of the magis- 
trates and people on the reception of the charter at 
Albany : 

'' In nomine Domini Jesu Christi. Amen. 
" Att a meeting of ye Justices of ye peace for ye county 
of Albany, ye 26th day of July, A. D., 16S6. 

" Pieter Schuyler, gent, and Rob^ Livingston, gent., 
who were commissionated by ye towne of Albanie to goe 
to New Yorke and procure ye Charter for this citty wh 
was agreed upon between ye magistrates and ye right 
honi Col. Tho. Dongan, Gov. Gen^i who accordingly 
have brought the same along with them, and was pub- 
lished with all ye joy and acclamations imaginable ; and 
ye said two gent"^ received ye thanks of ye magistrates 
and burgesses for their diligence and care in obtaining 
ye same.'' 

Pieter Schuyler, ' 'appointed and commissionated to be 
mayor and clerk of ye market and coroner of ye citty of 
Albany, as also coroner for ye s^ couuty,'' took the oath, 
which was administered by one of the magistrates, and 
entered upon the duties of his office. The ordained alder- 
men were also sworn, as also were Robert Livingston, 
town-clerk, Richard Pretty, sheritf , and James Parker, 

The following minute of the mayor's court, held on 
the thirty-first of August, 1686, discloses the manner in 
which the laws were executed by the city officers : ' ' The 

^ The parchments on which the charter was engrossed are in the office of 
the city clerk. 


court of [thej mayor and aldermen having considered 
y^ case of ye negroe of Myndert Frederikse called Her- 
cules, who hath stole a chest of wampum belonging to 
ye poor of ye Lutheran parich out of ye house of his mas- 
ter, where he went in a night throw ye window, all which 
he confesseth, and considering how evil consequence it is 
and how bad example it is for ye negers, the court have 
ordered ye s^ neger Hercules to be whipt throw ye towne 
att ye cart tale by ye hands of ye hangman forthwith, for 
an example to oy^s, [others], and his master to pay ye 
costts. " 

It would seem that some of the city officers were tardy 
in attending the meetings of the common council, for it 
was ordered on the eleventh of September that any mem- 
ber that should ''be absent at ye second ringing of ye 
bell, being in town, at any common council day," should 
''forfeit six shillings, toties quoties.'^ 

The city, for lack of water, being exposed to the 
dangers of fire, the common council took measures on 
the fourteenth of September to increase the supply. 
''Whereas it hath been found by experience that ye 
bringing in of ye fountain from ye hill into ye city hath not 
only been of great use to ye inhabitants for water butt the 
only means, under God, of ye quenching of ye late fyre, 
wh^ oyr wise by all probability had consumed ye whole 
towne ; and whereas ye spouts y^ [that] convey ye water 
to the wells in some places are gone to decay or at least 
so leaky that ye wells are quite useless, the mayor, alder- 
men and commonalty of ye city have therefore thought 
convenient to appoint and order ye high constable, Isaak 
Verplank, forthwith to cause ye said spouts and wells to 
be repaired that they may be of like use as formerly, and 
to keep an exact account of what ye charge is, which 
shall be forthwith ordered to be paid ; and all laboring 


persons are hereby strictly charged to assist toward 
ye sd work as they will answer ye contrary att y^ [their] 
perills ; and if the said high constable be found negligent 
yt he doth not hys duty herein, and yt ye work be not 
and all ye wells and spouts compleated in ye space of a 
fortnight, he shall forfeit forty shillings." 

To defray the expenses of the county, the assessors 
were directed ''to rate the county for the sum of 1600 
guilders beaver, or £120 ; " and to defray those of the 
city, '^£30, or 400 guilders beaver." 

For the better regulation of the trade with the Indians, 
the common council, on the fourteenth of September, 
1686, made a number of rules and orders to govern it. 
''No person or persons whatsoever," in the city "upon 
ye arrivall of any Indian or Indians" were allowed ''to 
addresse themselves or speake to them of and concerning 
Trade," nor "to entice y^ (them) either within or with- 
out ye gates of ye ^^ '-' ^' Citty, by Signs or oyrwise 
howsoever, to trade with themselves or any other Per- 

No person or persons were "to send out or make use 
of any Broakers, whether Christians or Indians, in ye 
management of ye Indian Trade ; " nor were they to 
" trade for or receive any Bevers, Peltry or other Indian " 
commodity " from any Indian or Indians after ye ringing 
of ye BeU" at eight "of ye Clock on ye night ;" nor 
were they to "trade or trafiqe with, or by any means 
whatsoever directly or indirectly entice any Indians soe 
to do upon ye Sabbath day." 

It was also " ordered that for the future no person or 
persons whatsoever" were to "give any present or gift to 
any Indian or Indians," nor were they to "transport or 
cause to be transported any Wampum, Wampum pipes, 
Indian Jewells, or money '' out of the city and county, 


nor to '' dispose of such money, Wampum or Jewells to 
any stranger or person whatsoever, who should carry 
them out of" the '^ Government." 

It was also ordered ''that no Indian Trader whatso- 
ever" should, on and after the twenty-fifth of March, 
1687, ''directly or indirectly in his own name, or in ye 
name of any other persons living m or Import from Eng- 
land or any oy^" part of Europe or ye West Indies into " 
the city or its liberties any Indian goods or merchan- 
dises such as ''duff ells, rom, strouds, blanketts, plains, 
half-thicks, woolen stockings, white ozenbridge, ketles, 
hatchetts, hoes, red lead, vermillion, cotton, red kersey 
Indian haberdashery, or any oy^ Indian goods." As the 
selling of certain small Indian wares afforded "a com- 
fortable livelyhood to severall people '' in the city, ''whose 
mean stocks " or small means did not permit their " deale- 
ing in Commodities of greater value," and as these per- 
sons had been ' ' obstructed by ye constant resort of y e 
Indians to such persones as sell all sorts of goods," the 
common council to protect the small dealers and to make 
"a more equall distribucon of ye Indian Trade amongst 
ye Inhabitants " of the city, ordered that no Trader, 
who sold ' ' Duff ells, Strouds, Blanketts, and other Indian 
goods of value,'' should sell such small wares as '' Knives, 
Looking Glasses, Painting stuff, Boxes, Aules, Tobacco 
Pipes, Tobacco, Tobacco Boxes, flints, Si-eels, Sizers, 
[scissors ^1 Wire of any sort. Ribboning, Bottles, Thread, 
Salt, Sugar, Prunes, Apples, Razins, Juiseharps, Bells, 
Thimbles, Beedes, Indian Combs, and Z^eedles." 

It was also ordered that no Indian trader should in- 
duce by words or presents any Indian or Indians to take 
their guns to particular gunsmiths and gun-stock makers 
to be mended. 

The person or persons who should transgress any of 


these orders, rules and regulations made by the common 
council were to be subject to various penalties, such as 
fines and forfeitures. 

To defray the expenses ''in obtaining ye charter," the 
common council meeting in "j^ Citty Hall," resolved on 
the twenty-sixth of October, 1686, ''to dispose off and 
sell some iotts of grounde upon ye Plain lying on ye south 
side of ye citty for gardens, as also ye land lying on both 
sides of [the] Ruttenkill for two pastures," and appointed 
Gerrit Ryerse and Luykas Gerritse^ assistant aldermen 
together with Claes Riper and Jacob Meese, carpenters, 
''to lay out ye same in Iotts, and to number them," 
which lots were to be sold '' at a publike vendu or outcry 
in ye city hall on Wednesday ye first day of December." 
The town-clerk was ordered to ''put up bills at ye citt}^ 
hall door and ye church to give notice to all })ersones that 
They may come at ye day appointed." 

The common council at this meeting nominated and 
appointed Dirk Wessells, the recorder, and Robert Living- 
ston, "gentlemen," to go '* with two other fi tt persons " 
to view the ''tract of land above Schinnechtady, upon 
ye Maquaas river, of a thousand acres, called Tiononder- 
oga, and ye other land thereunto adjoining, '' '' '^ in 
order to purchase ye same of ye Indians." 

The common council at this meeting 'Nrrdored that 
ye fyremasters goe about and visite each respective house 
in ye citty to see if there chimneys and fyrehearths be 
sufficient, and also that care be taken that ye ladders and 
fyre hooks be upon there places and in repare." 

At the next meeting of the common council, it was 
ordered that no person whatsoever shc>uld ''for ye future 
reuse clothes oi- throw^ water or any sort of filth in or 
near any of the webs or fountains'' in the rity, "nor 
water any horses out of ye pale" that hung ''at ye same. 


or draw water with any fowle or dirty pale, upon pain of 
forfeiture of ye somme of 12b. for each offence." 

Some of the cartnien and other persons in the city had 
taken so much sand away from the top of the hill, at 
'' ye old burying place," that the coffins were exposed to 
view. To protect the graves from such public invasion, 
the common council further ordered that ''no carman or 
other person " should thereafter " fetch or digg any sand 
on ye north side of ye Shennechtady path." 

Some of the regulations made for the city were appar- 
ently exacting : '" That if any stranger or strangers what- 
soever shall att any tyme hereafter come into any wards 
and divisions of this Citty and Libertyes thereof and 
shall there Reside and Inhabit by the space of ff orty days 
and a list or account of his [or] their names shall not be- 
fore that time be given to the Mayor or Eldest Alder- 
man '• ''" '" By the Constable of such ward or divis- 
ion and any charges doe fall on this Citty thereby, such 
charges shall bee particularly borne and defrayed By that 
ward or division wherein such stranger or strangers shall 
so Reside and Inhabit as aforesaid. And the Constable 
for his neglect shall f orf eitt and pay the sum of Twenty 

" That all and everye keeper of pubhque houses, tapp 
houses or ordinaryes '^' ^' *^^ that shall Receive any 
person or persons to Lodge or Sojourn In their houses 
above two days shall before the third day after his or 
their comeing thither give knowledge to the Constable of 
the ward or division where such person or persons shall 
bee so Received of the name, surname, dwelling place, 
pi^ofession, and trade of life and place of service of all 
such person or persons, and for what cause hee or they 
came to Reside tbei'e." 

''That the [five] Carmen appoynted for this Citty 


shall ''' "'' ^ fill up, amend and repair the breaches in 
the streets and highways in and about this Citty when 
Required by the Mayor, gratis. That the said Carmen 
shall '" * '' on every Saturday In the afternoon carry 
and carte the dirte out of all the streets and lanes within 
the Citty and Convey the same to some convenient place 
where the same shall be appointed to be layed." 

" That noe Negroe or other Slave [shall] ^ ^' '^ drive 
any carte within this Citty under the penaltye of Twenty 
Shillings to be paid by the owner of such slave for each 

" All persons within this Citty are on Every Saturday 
morning when the season of the year and the Weather 
will permit to clean the streets and sweepe ye dirte before 
their houses Into heaps and cause the same to be Loaden 
and putt Into the Cartes which are appoynted to carry 
away the same.'' 

''That if any person shall suffer his Chimney to be on 
ffire he shall pay the summe of 15 shillings." 

' ' That no person or persons '^ "" ^ [shall] harbour, 
entertayne or countenance any Negro or Indian slave In 
their houses or otherwyse, or sell or dely ver to them any 
wine, Rumm, or other strong Liquor without Leave 
from the master or Receave or take from them any money 
or other goods on any other accost whatsoever." 

' ' That noe person or persons '' "' "' [shall] be per- 
mitted to exercise any handicraft, trade or other imploy- 
ment untill he shall have served as an apprentice to some 
burger of this citty of such respective employment for 
and during the term of ffour whole years unless such 
person or persons shall have otherwayes been sufficiently 
qualified." ^ 

On the twenty-fourth of February, 1687, as it was 

1 City Records, 1686. 


'' very requisite y^ '^' '^ ^ fyre-wood " should be ^' rid 
to ye indian houses for ye indians accommodation " as 
the traders were " f ounde neghgent in rideing ye same 
according to former custome," the high constable was 
ordered ''to charge and command all ye indian traders 
of" the ''citty, that in ye space of 14 days they [should] 
ride wood according to ye list w^ " should ''be made by 
John Johnse Bleeker, Jan Lansing, Robt. Sanders, and 
Arent Schuyler.'' ^ 

Grovernor Dongan, in February 1687, in his explana- 
tions to the Privy Council, thus adverted to the efforts of 
the French to obtain the control of the Indian tribes of 
Northern New York : " They have fathers [priests] still 
among the five Nations, '" ^ ^ the Maquaes, the 
Sinicaes, Cayouges, Oneides, and Onondagues, and have 
converted many of them to the Christian Faith and doe 
their utmost to draw them to Canada, to which place 
there are already 6 oi' 700 retired and more like to doe, 
to the Great prejudice of this Government if not pre- 
vented. I have done my endeavors and have gone so 
far in it that I have prevailed with the Indians to consent 
to come back from Canada on condition that I procure 
for them a peace of Land called Serachtague lying upon 
Hudsons river above 40 miles above Albany and there 
furnish them with Priests. 

"Thereupon and upon a petition of the people of 
Albany to mee setting forth the reasonableness and con- 
veniency of granting to the Indians their requests, I have 
procured the land for them, altho it has been formerly 
patented to people at Albany, and have promised the In- 
dians that they shall have Priests & that I will build 
them a Church & have assured the people of Albany that 
I would address to his Maty as to your Lops [Lordships] 

1 City Records, U>8 7. 


that care may bee taken to send over by the first live or 
six, it being a matter of great consequence. 

'^ These Indians have about ten or twelve castles (as 
they term them) & those at a great distance one from an- 
other, soe that there is an abs ilute necessity of having 
soe many priests, that there bee three always travi-lling 
from Castle to Castle, (^. the rest to live with those tiiat 
are Christians. By that means the French Piiests will bee 
obliged to retire to Canada, whereby the French will bee 
divested of their pretence to ye Country & then wee 
shall enjoy that trade without any fear of being di- 
verted. "'- '^ ''' 

"The great difference between us is about the Beaver 
Trade, and in truth they have the advantage of us in it 
& that by noe other meanes than by their Industry in 
making discoveries in y^ Country before us. 

" Before my coming hither noe man of our Governmt 
ever went beyond the Sinicaes Country. Last year some 
of our people went a trading among the farr Indians 
called the Ottowais, inhabiting about thi-ee months' 
journey to the West & W. N. W. [west north-west] of 
Albany from whence they brought a good many Beavers. 
They found their people more inclined to trade with them 
than the French, the French not being able to protect 
them from the arms of our Indians with whom they have 
had a continued warr, soe that our Indians brought away 
this very last year a great many prisoners. 

" Last week I sent for some of our Indians to New 
York, where when they came I obtained a promise from 
them that some of themselves would goe along with 
such of our people as goe from Albany and Esopus to 
these far Nations, and carry with them the captives they 
have prisoners in order to the restoring them to their 
liberty & bury their Hatchetts with those of their enemys, 


by which means a path may bee opened for these 
far Indians to come with safety to Trade at Albany, our 
people goe thither without any let or disturbance." 

" The five Indian Nations are the most warhke people 
in America, & are a bulwark between us & the French & 
all other Indians. They goe as far as the South Sea 
[Gulf of Mexico], the North-West Passage [Mississippi 
River], & Florida to Warr. New England in their last 
Warr with the Indians had been ruined, had not S^ Ed- 
mund Andros sent some of those Nations to their assis- 
tance. And indeed they are soe considerable that all the 
Indians in these parts of America are Tributareys to 
them. I suffer noe Christians to converse with them any 
where but at Albany and that not without my licence." 

Governor Dongan also, in these explanations to the 
Privy Council, speaks of the buildings in Albany, and 
says they ''are generally of Stone & brick. In the Coun- 
try the houses are mostly new built, having two or three 
rooms on a floor. " ^ 

While he was in Albany, as he further relates, he 
made ' ' Robert Livingstone Collector and Receiver, with 
order to acct wth [with] & pay into M^Santem^ wt money 
he sho'd receive, for which he was to have Is P^ Pound 
of all such monys as should pass through his hands, & 
alsoe made him Clerk of the Town, that both places to- 
gether might afford him a competent maintenance." ^ 

Early in the month of September, 1687, information 
was brought to Albany that the French were making 
preparations to invade the province of New York to ex- 
terminate the Mohawks and the other Indians of the five 
nations. When this news was communicated to the gov- 
ernor and council, they, on the ninth of September, com- 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 393, 394, 395. 

2 Lucas Santem, the collector of his majesty's revenues in the province. 

3 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 491. 


manded that the mayor and magistrates should send 
orders " to the five Nations to bring Down [to Albany] 
their Wives, Children and old men least y^ ffrench come 
uppon them in the Winter" and that none should " stay 
in the Castles but y^ young men." They also ordered that 
the Indians who left their villages should be settled tem- 
porarily at Catskill, Livingston's land, and along the river, 
where they could be near assistance should they need 
help. The Indians were also ordered to bring with them 
all the corn except that which was needed by the young 
warriors remaining in the castles. The people of Albany 
are described as being " in great Consternation thro ap- 
prehension that ye ffrench" would "come down uppon 

To defend Albany, the government forthwith ordered 
that "Every tenth man of all ye Militia troupes & Com- 
panys within the Province Except those who were out 
ye last yeare a whaling be Drawn out to go up thither." 
The governor, attended by the Rev. Alexander Innis, of 
the Church of England, chaplain of the garrison of Fort 
James, in the city of New York, and Father Henry Har- 
rison, an English Jesuit, went to Albany, in October, to 
take command of the troops quartered there. 

The authorities, to preserve the peace of the city dur- 
ing its occupation by the military forces of the province, 
prohibited the sale of " any strong drink, beer, syder, or 
other liquor to any person whatevei* after ye Taptoo." 

The governor, writing from Albany, on the nineteenth 
of February, 1688, to the earl of Sutherland, president of 
his majesty's privy council, says : ''I have been here all 
this winter with foure hundred foote and fifty horse and 
Eight hundred Indians ; the French nor there Indians 
have [not] done us any hurt as yett ; wee are at great 
chardges, ^ '' '" not to reckon this Extiaordinar-ij 


Expense, and when I come to N. Yorke to impose an- 
other Tax upon ye people, I am afraid they will desert 
the Proviace and goe to other Plantations." 

The extraordinary expense referred to by the governor, 
was the disbursement €2,()()7 Gs. Id., from August 11, 
16S7, to June 1, lOSS, by Robert Livingston, for the sup- 
port and pay of the troops, for gifts to the Indians, and 
the needs of the French prisoners. The city and county 
of Albany were assessed for £240 of this expenditure. In 
March, Governor Dongan returned to New York. 

By the annexation of the colonies of Rhode Island 
and Connecticut, and the province of New York, and the 
Jerseys to the other English provinces and colonies, on 
the fifth of April, 1088, by James II., the province of 
New York became a part of the territory called New Eng- 
land placed under the governorship of Sir Edmund An- 
dros. On the eleventh of August, Governor Andros came 
to New York, and received the seal of the province 
from Governor Dongan. On the thirtieth of August, 
Governor Andros with a number of his counselors and a 
company of soldiers embarked for Albany. 

On the eighteenth of September, at the conference 
with the sachems of the five Indian nations, the governor 
was thus addressed by Sindachsegie, a Mohawk chief : 

^* Brother Gorlaer, we are come from all the five 
nations, "^ ^^ ^ to bid you welcome in this place, not 
only you but your council likewise, and we return thanks 
to the magistrates of Albany who acquainted us of your 
coming hither, and that you were governor-general of all 
these territories, and the same person which did us the 
kindness to be called Gorlaer when you were formerly 
governor. Thereupon we resolved not to come slowly but 
to run with all speed to see and bid you welcome." ^ 

' Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 558. 


The governor-general, having placed Captain Jervis 
Baxter in command of Fort Albany, returned to New 
York about the end of September. Having made Boston 
the seat of the government of New England, Governor 
Andros shortly afterward proceeded thither, taking with 
him some of the records of New York. 

The city authorities, having been complained to by 
some of the inhabitants that the bakers sold wheat-bread 
at ''dear rates, notwithstanding ye cheapness of y^ corn,'' 
it was ordered, in December, lO^SS, that the bakers and 
other persons who sold bread should '' take no more than 
one penny, half -penny or five stuy vers zewant for a loaf 
of fine wheat-bread, which " should "' weigh one pound 
English weight " and of the '' same fineness as hitherto." 

Those persons who should '' presume to cutt down 
any of y^ townes old stockadoes till y^ spring when new 
ones" were ''to be putt in ye room,'' were to pay a fine 
of ten shillings. 

Divers persons having assumed '^ to themselves ye hb- 
erty to make use of ye towne ladders for their owne occa- 
sion ^ "^ '^' so much that verry few" were ''to be 
found in their places, where they were first ordained," it 
was ordered by "the mayor and aldermen yt ye fyremas- 
ters " should ' ' inspect into ye condition of s^i ladders and 
fyrehooks yt they" were "in good condition and repaire, 
and y^ in some convenient place of each ward there " were 
" at least 2 good ladders of 25 foot, and 2 of 15 foot with 
iron hooks fast to ye ladders, and 2 fyrehooks, which " 
would " make 12 ladders and (^ hooks for ye 3 respective 
wards. Whatever ladders or hooks " should " be founde 
over and above ye s^ number, ye fy remasters" were " to 
take care that they " were " hung at ye church." ^ 

1 City records. 1688. 




The unsuccepsful attempt of King James II. of Eng- 
land to make the Eoman CathoKc Church dominant in 
his dominions and his subseo^uent flight to France, on 
the eleventh of December, 1688, were followed by a 
series of events peculiarly disturbing to the people of the 
English provinces in America. The French, having for 
a long time contemplated the project of obtaining 
possession of the territor}^ of New York^ now began to 
consider the most feasible way of accomplishing the 
undertaking. Sieur Chevalier Hector de Callieres Bon- 
nevue, the governor of Montreal, wrote as follows to the 
Marquis de Seignelay, in January, 1689 : 

^'The plan is to go directly to Orange, [Albany], the 
most advanced town of New York, one hundred leagues 
from Montreal, ^ Avhich I would undertake to get pos- 
session of and to proceed thence to seize Manathe, [New 
York City,] the capital of that colony situated on the 
sea-coast ; on condition of being furnished with suj^plies 
necessary for the success of the expedition. 

''1 demand for that only the troops at present main- 
tained by his majesty in Canada. '^ '^' '^ These troops 
number thirty-five companies which, at fifty men each, 

1 Montreal is about two hundred and thirty miles from Albany. 



ought to give seventeen hundred and fifty. ^ ^ * i 
propose ^ ^ "^^ to select the best of them to the 
number of fourteen hundred and to add to these the 
choice men of the mihtia to the number of six hundred. 
"•■ '^ "^ I propose to embark the two thousand men 
with the supplies necessary for their subsistence in a 
sufficient number of canoes and flat boats. "'" '^' -^ My 
design is to conduct them by the Richeheu River to 
Lake Champlain as far as the carrying place, which is 
within three leagues of the Albany [Hudson] River that 
runs to Orange. 1 shall conceal this expedition, which 
must be kept very secret, by saying that the king has 
commanded me to proceed at the head of his troops and 
militia to the Iroquois country to dictate peace to the 
Iroquois on the condition it has pleased his majesty to 
grant them without the interference of the English, in- 
asmuch as the Iroquois are his true subjects, without 
letting any one know om* intention of attacking the 
English until we have arrived at the point whence I 
shall send to tell the Iroquois by some of their nation 
that I am not come to wage war against them but only 
to reduce the English. ^ ^ ^^ 

''As the batteaux cannot proceed farther than the 
carrying place, my intention is to erect there a small 
log-fort, which I shall build in three days, and to leave 
two hundred men in it to guard the batteaux ; thence 
to mai'ch direct to Orange, embarking our supplies on 
the [ Hudson ] River in canoes ; which we shall bring 
and which can be convoyed by land, we marching with 
the troops along the river as an escort. 

^' I hope to seize in passing some English villages and 
settlements where I shall find provisions and the con- 
veniences for attacking the town of Orange. 

'' This town is about as large as Montreal, surrounded 


by pickets, at one end of which is a fort of earth de- 
fended by pahsades, and has four bastions. There is a 
garrison of one hundred and fifty men of three com- 
panies in the fort and some pieces of cannon. The town 
of Orange may contain about one hundred and fifty 
houses and three hundred inhabitants capable of bear- 
ing arms, the majority of whom are Dutch, besides a 
number of French I'efugees and some Enghsh people. 

'^ After having invested the town and summoned it 
to surrender with the promise not to pillage it, if it 
capitulate, I propose in case of resistance to cut or burn 
the palisades, in order to afi:'ord an opening, and enter 
there sAvord in hand and seize the fort. These palisades, 
which are only about fourteen feet high, can easily be 
scaled by means of the conveniences we shall find when 
masters of the town, or [ the place may be entered] by 
blowing in the gate with a few petards or two small field- 
pieces which may be of use to me and which I shall find 
the means of conveying there. '' '- '''' 

''After I shall have become master of the toAvn and 
the fort of Orange, which I expect to accomplish before 
the English can furnish it any succor, my intention is to 
leave a garrison of two hundred men in the foi't with 
sufficient supplies which 1 shall find in the city, and to 
disarm all the inhabitants, granting, at his majesty's 
pleasure, pardon to the French deserters and inhabitants 
I shall find there, that they may follow^ me. 

^ ^ I shall seize all the vessels, batteaux, and canoes 
that are at Orange to embark my force on the river whi( h 
is navigable down to Manathe, and I shall forward with 
the troops the necessary provisions and ammunition, and 
some pieces of cannon taken from Fort Orange to serve 
on the attack on Manathe. ^' ^ ^' 

^'It is necessary for the success of this expedition 


that his majesty shall give orders to two of the ships of 
war destined this year to escort the merchantmen 
going to Canada and Acadie, or the fishermen going for 
cod to the Great Bank, that after having convoyed the 
merchantmen to come toward the end of August into 
the bay of Manathe and cruise there during the month 
of September, as well to prevent succor from Europe 
which may arrive from England or Boston, as to enter the 
harbor when on my arrival I shall give the signal agreed 
upon, so as to aid us in capturing the fort, which may be 
cannonaded from aboard the ships v^hile I attack it on 
land. '^ ^' '^ 

' ' After we shall have become masters of the city and 
the fort of Manathe, 1 shall cause the inhabitants to be 
disarmed and shall send my Canadians back to Orange 
by the Albany River cm their way to their batteaux." ^ 

Meanwhile the Protestants of the provinces in America 
were much concerned for the continuance of their relig- 
ious privileges. When it was learned that Prince Wil- 
liam of Orange, the stadtholder of theUnited Netherlands, 
had landed, on the fifth of November, 16S8, at Torbay. in 
Devonshire, England, ^'to maintain the Protestant re- 
ligion and the liberties of England,'' the alarmed Pro- 
testants in America at once dismissed their fears and 
secretly began to devise plans to free themselves from the 
authority of the officers appointed by King James. These 
rebellious premeditations were soon manifested in the 
action of the disaffected people. On the eighteenth of 
April, Governor Andros was asked by a delegation of 
the citizens of Boston to '' surrender and deliver up the 
government *' of New England. Unwilling to comply 
with this unwarranted demand. Governor Andros was 
forthwith imprisoned by the presumptions leaders of the 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. ix. pp. 401-408. 


excited people. When the inteUigence of the uprising 
in Boston reached New York, on the twenty-sixth of 
April, it caused no little alarm among the officers of the 
government. The next day the report that France had 
declared war against England increased the excitement 
so that there was ''a great fret and tumult " in the city. 
Lieutenant-governor Francis Nicholson, who had com- 
mand of Fort James, conferred with the officers of the 
militia respecting the protection of the city. It was de- 
termined that Fort James should be guarded thereafter 
by the soldiers of the garrison and by daily details from 
the five companies of the militia then under the com- 
mand of Colonel Nicholas Bayard. On the thirtieth of 
April, instructions were sent to the authorities of Albany 
''recommending them to keep the people in peace" and 
the militia ''well exercised and equipped." 

The report that Governor Andros had given per- 
mission to the French authoiities of Canada to extirpate 
the Indians of the five nations made the members of the 
tribes apprehensive of some act of treachery on the part 
of the officers of James II. Pieter Schuyler, the mayor 
of Albany, wrote to Lieutenant-governor Nicholson that 
''the Indians were very jealous,'' and if their suspicions 
were not soon removed that they would ' ' cause great 
mischief. '' The lieutenant-governor immediately replied 
to the mayor's letter, saying that the report " was utterly 
false " that his excellency the governor of New England 
' ' had made an agreement with the French to cut them 
otf." He therefore advised that the city officers should 
"endeavour to hinder the Indians going to Canada," 
to assure them of the friendship of the officers of the 
English government, " and to present each nation with 
a barrel of powder." 

The general ignorance of the peo}>le or Albany re- 


specting the progress of the revolution in England and 
the immediate purposes of the French government in 
the prosecution of the war caused them much uneasi- 
ness of mind. Av^are that the French would make the 
period of hostilities an occasion to dispossess them of 
the friendship and trade of the Indians of the five na- 
tions, the burghers were much concerned respecting the 
consequences of King James's sudden abdication of the 
throne of England. Some intolerant Protestants also 
began to regard Major Jervis Baxter, who was a Roma]i 
Catholic, as a very dangerous person to have command 
of Fort Albany. Therefore they manifested in various 
ways their mistrust of his fealty to the prince of Orange 
should he become king of England. 

This was the condition of affairs when Captain Jona- 
than Bull of Connecticut arrived in Albany, on Satur- 
day, the eighteenth of May, 16S9. This officer with 
several commissioners from Boston had been sent there 
to join with the people of Albany in making a league 
with the Indians of the five nations. Captain Bull, in 
his report to Colonel John AUyn, secretary of the gen- 
eral court of Connecticut, speaks of the disquietude of 
the people, and of the anxiet}^ of the city officers to 
learn the news of the progress of the revolution in Eng- 
land. He immediately on his arrival w^as invited to 
meet the magistrates and the aldermen who were in- 
quisitive for the news. However, as Major Baxter was 
present, whom he knew to be a Roman Catholic, he did 
not disclose to them the latest intelligence contained in 
the newspapers, ' ' both as to f oren nues and tranceactions 
at Boston. " He afterward showed the papers to Captain 
Jan Jansen Bleecker, who did not agree with the mayor 
in withholding the news from the people. Pieter Schuy- 
ler, he says, thought that if the people should learn the 


news of the day, that ^'it wolde make them run all 
madd." ^'I answered yt [that] I thought he did not 
consult his owne interest in goeing about to hide yt 
from the people, y^ was so publick, for yt it must 
needs worke in them a gelosie of his faithfuUness 
to them ; and also of them yt were active with 
him in so doing ; in yt it was very proper yt all 
good Christians protistants should be acquainted with 
these things ; to which he answered litle, but seemingly 
went away satisfied. 

''The next day being the Saboth, the mayor sent to 
me for the papers which I readyly sent to him, & in the 
evening discorsing with diuers gentlemen of the citty, 
who being earnest for nues, I tolde them I sholde not 
be wanting to impart wt [what] neus I had to them, but 
the papers yt I brought [I] had lent "^^ ^ '' to the 
mayor. One of them reply'd yt he inquire'd of the 
mayor since noone & he said he had not heard nor seen 
any papers, & y^ there was none com, whereupon they 
concluded they sholde neauer see them. I informed 
them the substance as neer as I colde, & and also y^ they 
sholde have a sight of them to morrow, at which they 
seemed much tranceported, and vowed there shold be no 
Roman Catholick in the Castle |fo]'t| twelve hours 
longer ; their zeall growing higher and higher for purge- 
ing all places of & disarming all Papists. Major Bax- 
ter hearing of this gaue out yt he wolde | would | be gon 
in :^> or i days, and accordingly did ; after which som of 
the miletary officers informed me yt now thay had taken 
charg of the castle & all the keys into theii' owne hands, 
and kept 25 men of the towne to watch & ward in the 
Fourt, day and night, att which the people wei^e much 

''I was then speaking of returning home, but the 


mayor & diuers others aduised me to stay and hear the 
result of the Makques sachem^s of their buysnes, whome 
they ecspected eauery day." 

Captain Bull then describes the conference with the 
Indians. He says ; " The Maquaes were ready to make 
their propositions in the Court house, with a present 
of Beavers and other furs, as I judged to the value 
of twenty ]30unds or more, which they brought and 
layed doune in the house, and haueing chose their speaker, 
he began, riseing up with two or thre beaver in his 
hands, the rest all silent, not one word to be heard fro 
them all the while. The speaker spoke as foloweth, 
being the 24th May, 1()89: 

'* 1. Breatheren, we are now com as our grandfathers 
used to doe, to renew our unity & friendship and cou- 
enant made between us & you. 

*^2. We desier y^ this house being the covenant & 
proposition house, may be kept clean, y^ is, y^ we may 
keep a clean, single, not a double heart. 

'' 3. We do renue the former covenant or chain yt has 
been made between us & you, yt is to say. New England, 
Vergenia, Mereland, & all these parts of America, y^^ it 
may be kept bright on eauery side, yt it may not rust 
nor be forgot. ^ ^' '^' 

" When the sachems heard," says Captain Bull, ''how 
maters were circumstanced, & wt nues was com to hand, 
they seem to be glad & re Joyce at w^ thay heard & 
wholly layd aside their intended meeting [at Onondaga,] 
promising nether to speak with the French nor hear the 
French speak to them." ^ 

As related by Captain Bull, the disaffection of the 
people of Albany caused Major Baxter to quit the place 

1 Captain Jonathan Bull's report from Albany. The public records of 
the colony of Connecticut. May, 1678, — June, 1689. Hartford, 1859. pp. 


and go to New York, where he received permission from 
Lieutenant-governor Nicholson to leave the province. 
It would seem that the action of the people of Albany in 
obtaining possession of the fort incited some of the 
'^factious and rebellious" inhabitants of New York City 
to conspire together to dispossess Lieutenant-governor 
Nicholson of the command of Fort James, for, on the 
afternoon of the thirty-first of May, he was informed 
that most of the city-militia were in rebellion and that 
they would neither obey his orders nor those of their com- 
manding officer, Colonel Bayard. On the night of the 
second of June, the malcontents with noisy demonstra- 
tions gathered in front of the house of Jacob Leisler, the 
captain of one of the militia-companies, and led by him, 
marched with beating drums to Fort James and took 
possession of it. 

The next day, Captain Leisler published a declaration 
in which he asserted that his intention in taking com- 
mand of the garrison was only for ^^the preservation of 
the Protestant religion and the fort. " and that he would 
retain command of the fortification until the arrival of 
ships from England with orders from the prince of 
Orange for the government of the country. In the after- 
noon copies of the English papers w^ere received from 
London containing the news of the elevation of Prince 
William and the Princess Mary to the throne of England, 
on the thirteenth of February, and the proclamation that 
they were king and queen of England and Ireland. 
When Captain Leisler's declaration was received and 
read by the disaffected people of Connecticut, the German 
leader's conduct was enthusiastically approved by them. 
John AUyn, the secretary of the General Court of Con- 
necticut, wrote from Hartford, on the thirteenth of June, 
to Captain Leisler and his partisans, saying : 


" Considering what you have don, we doe advise that 
you keep the forte tenable and well manned for the de- 
fence of the protestant religion/' and ''that you suffer 
no Eoman Catholicke to enter the same, armed or with- 
out armes, and that no Romish Catholick be suffered to 
keep armes w^hin that government or Citty, and that 
those who shall be betrusted with the government or 
command of your forte be trusty persons whom you may 
confide in. 

"' And that we may know your p^sent state and what 
may be necessary for us to contribute towards your wel- 
fare, we have appointed the Hon^d Major Nathan Gold 
and Oapt. James Fitch Esq^s to give you a vissit, and to 
give their best advice to you in any thing wherein they 
may be helpfuU to you." 

On the twenty-first of June, the two delegates from 
Connecticut arrived in New York City, bringing with 
them some English newspapers in which was the procla- 
mation to proclaim King William and Queen Mary 
sovereigns of England and Ireland. Vi^hen Captain Leis- 
ler the next day saw the proclamation, he ^'had the 
drum beaten and the king and queen proclaimed in the 
forenoon '' in Fort William, as Fort James was called 
by him, and in the afternoon, at the town-hall, in the 
city. The unwillingness of the city officials to take part in 
these demonstrations of loyalty greatly incensed Captain 
Leisler and his supporters, who called the mayor, 
Stephanus Van Courtlandt, a traitor and a papist. Later 
in the day, while Captain Leisler was with Major Gold 
and Captain Fitch in Fort William, the turret of the 
church inside the fortification was discovered to be on 
fire in three places, and as the magazine near by con- 
tained about six thousand pounds of powder, there was 
the wildest excitement until the flames were extin- 



guished. Whether an incendiary act or not^ the cause 
of the fire was declared to be ^ ' a papistical design/' 
''hellishly wicked and cruel/' to destroy Captain Leis- 
ler, the garrison, and the delegates from Connecticut. 
The latter, before returning home, advised Captain Leis- 
ler not to permit any papist to enter the fort, and re- 
minded him of the warning he had of the ill-will of the 
Roman Catholics when "j^ terrett in ye fort was fyred 
in three places," on the day King William and Queen 
Mary were proclaimed. In their written advice to Cap- 
tain Leisler and his officers, dated the twenty-sixth of 
June, the Connecticut emissaries added these concluding 
words : ' ' Your friends pray God to encourage yo^ hearts 
and strengthen yo^ hands and patiently waite for ye dis- 
pose, [disposition,] orders, and commands of yo^s & our 
most gracious, never equalled, commended, & admired 
King Willy am, ye very best this lower world knowes, 
whome God preserve long to Reign." ^ 

The rancor of Leisler and his followers became more 
malignant toward the mayor and the members of the 
common council when the latter met on the twenty- 
fourth of June, and ordered the proclamation of King 
William and Queen Mary to be read to the citizens in 
front of the town-hall, which directed that all sheriffs, 
justices, collectors, in office, on the first of December, 
1688, were to continue in the discharge of their respect- 
ive duties. The officers of the city government, however, 
did not carry out these orders, but deposed Matthew 
Plowman, the collector, who was a Roman Catholic, and 
appointed as commissioners of the customs. Colonel 
Nicholas Bayard, Paulus Richards, Thomas Wenliam, 
and John Haynes. When they undertook to discharge 
the duties of their office. Captain Leisler proceeded to the 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 5, 6, 10, 11. 


custom-house with a number of soldiers and forcibly 
ejected them, and installed Peter de la Noy as collector. 
Colonel Bayard to protect himself from personal injury 
was compelled to depart from the city in a boat with the 
utmost secrecy and to make Albany his home for a time. 

The accession of Prince William and the Princess 
Mary to the throne of England occasioned great joy in 
Albany. The following record discloses the action of the 
people on the first of July, 1()89, when they learned that 
these distinguished personages had been made king and 
queen : 

" The Proclamation for Proclaiming there Majs King 
William and Queen Mary King and Queen of England, 
France, and Ireland &c., being brought hither from N. 
Yorke Imediately upon ye Receit thereof ye May^ & 
Recorder caused ye Court of Aldermen and Common 
Council to assemble who attended accordingly and having 
considered of ye greatest Solemnity yt could be used in 
so short a Time, appointed ye Citizens to be in arms about 
12 oclock which having done they went in ord^ from 
ye City Hall up to there Majts Fort where there Majts 
were proclaimed in solemn manner in English and dutch, 
ye gunns fyreing from ye fort & volley of small arms, 
ye People with Loude acclamations crying Grod Save King 
Wm. & Queen Mary, afterwards they marched doune to 
ye City hall where there Majts were again Proclaimed, 
ye night Concluding wth ye Ringing of ye Bell, Bone- 
fyres, fyreworks, and all oy^ Demonstrations of joy." 

Unwilling to acknowledge Jacob Leisler's assumed 
government of the province, the municipal officers, the 
justices of the peace, the military officers of the city and 
county of Albany assembled in convention on the first 
of August, and resolved that ''all public affairs for the 
preservation of their majesties' interest '' should be man- 


aged by the mayor, the aldermen, the justices of the 
peace, and the other commissioners of the city and the 
county, until orders should be received from King Wil- 
liam and Queen Mary. It was also resolved, the news of 
war between England and France having been received, 
that each person in the convention should ^^bringagunn 
with i lb of Ponder and Bale equivalent to be hung up 
in ye church in ye space of three days & y^ ye Traders 
and oyr Inhabitants be Persuaded to doe ye same to 
make up ye number of 50 to be made use off upon oc- 
casion.'' ^ 

A few days afterward, when it was learned that a 
number of persons having heard that the French were 
about to invade the province were making preparations 
to leave the county, a proclamation was published that 
no person or persons (except masters of vessels), fit and 
able to bear arms should be allowed to go away without 
a written permit from one of the justices of the peace. 

Meanwhile Louis XIV., king of France, had instructed 
Louis de Buade, comte de Frontenac, an old lieutenant- 
general in the French army, to proceed to Canada and to 
carry out the plans submitted by Chevalier de Callieres. 
This officer, on the seventh of June, 1689, was ordered 
by the king '' to act as far as possible in such a manner" 
that the people of Albany might ^'not be advised of his 
march, so that he" might ^'surprise this first post" and 
afterward '^ secure the number of vessels" required ''to 
descend on Manathe.'' 

Although Caj)tain Leisler had made several attempts 
to obtain from the authorities of the city of Albany an 
official recognition of his right to administer the govern- 
ment of the province, they evinced their disapprobation 
of his acts by a cautious reserve and an unexplained 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp. 11-18, 46-51). 


silence. However, they resolved in a convention held 
in the city-hall on the fonrth of September, that such 
was the '' eminent danger threatened by the French of 
Canada and their praying Indians '' who were about to 
come into Albany county ''to kill and destroy their 
majesties' subjects,'' that an express should immediately 
be sent to Captain Leisler and the rest of the militia- 
officers of the city and county officers of New York for 
one hundred or more men to protect their majesties' fort 
and the frontier plantations in the county , and also for 
money and munitions of war. 

The messenger sent to New York returned and re- 
ported to the convention, on the seventh day of Septem- 
ber, that Captain Leisler had said that he had nothing 
to do with the civil power and had sent a letter to Cap- 
tains Johannes Wendell and Jan Jansen Bleecker. 
When the communication was read, it was found to 
contain the information that Leisler had sent them four 
small guns, some forty pounds of match from their 
majesties' stores and two hundred pounds of powder be- 
longing to certain merchants of Albany. He desired 
the two captains of the Albany militia to induce the 
common people to send two men to New York to repre- 
sent them in the government. He also wrote that he 
and his council had not received any public moneys and 
that it was not in their power to send them troops, alleg- 
ing that the ill-treatment which the people of New York 
had received from the officials of Albany had made them 
unwilling to send the requested assistance. He sug- 
gested that the people of Albany should send representa- 
tives to consult with his council, which could then de- 
termine what should be done for the public good. 

The convention then resolved that as no assistance 
was to be expected from New York nor sufficient money 


could be raised to obtain men to defend the city and the 
frontier that letters should be addressed to the governor 
and convention of Boston and also to the governor and 
general assembly of Connecticut for two hundred 
soldiers to defend the city and frontier during the win- 

Lieutenant Sharpe and the soldiers in the fort, having 
taken the oath of allegiance to King William and Queen 
Mary on the nineteenth of October, the command of the 
garrison was given to the former, who was to obey such 
orders and instructions as he should from time to time 
receive from the convention of the city and county of 
Albany, until the commands of their majesties should 
be known. 

When it was learned that Jacob Leisler had been de- 
clared commander in chief of the province by his follow- 
ers and that Jacob Milborne was to be sent to Albany with 
a company of soldiers to take possession of the fort, the 
convention on the twenty-sixth of October, took the fol- 
lowing action : 

'' Eesolved, since we are informed by Persons coming 
from New Yorke, that Captain Jacob Leisler is designed 
to send up a Company of armed Men, upon Pretence to 
assist us in this County, who intend to make themselves 
Master of their Majesties fort and this City, and carry 
divers Persons and chief Officers of this City Prisoners to 
New York, and so disquiet and disturb their Majesties 
liege People, that a Letter be writ to Alderman Levinus 
van Schaic, now at Ne^v York, and Lieutenant Jochim 
Staets, to make narrow Enquiry of the Business, and to 
signify to the said Leisler, that we have received such 
information ; and withal acquaint him, that notwith- 
standing we have the Assistance of ninety-five Men from 
our Neighbors of New England, who are now gone for, 


and one hundred Men upon Occasion, to command, from 
the County of Ulster, which we think will be sufficient 
this Winter, yet we will willingly accept any such As- 
sistance as they shall be ])leased to send for the Defence 
of their Majesties County of Albany : Provided, they be 
obedient to, and obey such Orders and Commands, as 
they shall, from Time to Time, receive from the Conven- 
tion ; and that by no means they v\il] be admitted, to 
have the Command of their Majesties Fort oi* this City ; 
which we intend by God's Assistance, to Keep and pre- 
serve for the Behoof of their Majesties, William and 
Mary, King and Queen of England, as we hitherto have 
done since their Proclamation ; and if you hear, that 
they persevere with such Intention, so to disturl) the In- 
habitants of this County, that you then, in the Name 
and Behalf of the Convention and Inhabitants of the 
City and County of Albany, protest against the said 
Leisler, and all such Persons that shall make Attempt, 
for all Losses, Damages, Blood-shed, or whatsoever Mis- 
chiefs may ensue thereon ; which you are to communi- 
cate with all Speed, as you perceive their Design." ^ 

The messenger sent to New York returned and re- 
ported that he had heard Captain Leisler say among 
other things, that the authorities of Albany should bring 
their charter to New York, and that Lieutenant Sharpe 
and Rogers were papists. 

On the eighth of November, it was deemed expedient 
''to prevent all jealousies and animosities," that Pieter 
Schuyler, the mayor, should be placed in command of 
the fort, and that Lieutenant Sharpe should be his 
subordinate officer. 

''This being Published by Bell-Ringing ye members 
of ye Convention went to ye Mayers house, and told him 

1 The history of the province of New York. By William Smith. London, 
ITSY. p. 62. 


they were come to waite upon him and Conduct him up 
to ye fort, being accompanied with some of ye Principle 
Burgers went up and [took] Possession of s^ fort after 
ye usuall Ceremonies was Dehvered, & ye s^ May^ with 
all cheerf uUness [was] Received by ye officers and sould- 
iers of there Majes garrison/^ 

Captain Leisler, having failed in his first attempts to 
extend his authority over the people of the city and 
county of Albany, sent Jacob Milborne with a force of 
soldiers to Albany to garrison the fort and to secure a 
recognition of his claims as commander in chief of the 
province. When on the ninth of November three sloops 
were seen coming up the river, the members of the con- 
vention in the city assembled at the city-hall, and dele- 
gated Captain Wendell, Captain Bleecker, Johannes 
Cuyler, and Eeynier Barents to go aboard the vessels 
and to inquire of the person in command of them his 
object in coming to the city. This they did and learned 
from Jacob .Milborne that it was his purpose to obtain 
possession of the fort. The latter, having been invited 
by the committee to the city-hall, when he per- 
ceived the large assemblage of people collected there, 
instead of addressing his words to those in author- 
ity at once began to speak to the '' Common People in a 
long oration with a high Stile & Language, telling them 
That now it was in there powr to free themself s from 
yt Yoke of arbitrary Power and Government under 
which they had Lyen so long in ye Reign of y^^ lUegall 
king James, who was a Papist, Declareing all Illegall 
whatever was done & past in his time, yea the Charter 
of this Citty was null & void Since it was graunted by a 
Popish kings governour & that now ye Power was in the 
People to choose both new Civill and Military officers as 
they Pleased." 


Dirck Wessells, the recorder, replied to this seditious 
emissary, saying that he had '' addessed his Discourse to 
ye wrong People Since there were no arbitrary Power 
here ; God had Delivered them from that yoke by there 
Majesties now upon ye throne, to whom we had taken 
ye oath of allegiance, for we acted not in King James 
name but in King William & queen Marys & Avere there 

"Jacob Milborne Desyred that ye May^ Might be 
Present in ye Convention who was Twice Sent for, but 
answered yt he could not leave his Post which was to 
keep good watch in there Maj^s fort, Referring ye s^ Mil- 
borne to ye Gent^ that were Conveined together and 
yt he would call ye Convention together to morrow after 
ye 2^ Sermon when they would Discourse the Case 
further with him, this was Communicated to Jacob 
Milborne who answered that ye Record^ Represented 
ye Ma)^^ in his absence, and Delivered ye Convention a 
letter Signed by 25 Persones which was Read.'' 

This communication, dated "ye 2S Octob^ IHSI),'' was 
signed by Jacob Leisler and his principal partisans, who 
spoke of themselves as the "Committee or members 
chosen by ye free and open Elections of ye freemen in 
ye Respective Counties of this Province and Councill of 
warr." They wrote that they had "given full Power" 
to their "Trusty and Beloved friende, Jacob Milborne 
gent", to treat with. Consult, order, doe, and Performe 
all things that" should "be Requisite for his Majes Ser- 
vice " and the safety of the people of Albany, who, as 
they desired, should give him credence and should treat 
him amicably so that the enemy should not scandalize 
them or take any advantage of the disputes and differ- 
ence between them and the people of Albany. 

After, the letter had been read, Dirck Wessells, the 


recorder, asked Jacob Milborne if he wanted to have the 
troops aboard the sloops quartered that night in the city. 
He answered that he did not but that he would accept 
of some provisions, which were given him. 

The S])ecial mission of Milborne in coming to Albany 
is disclosed by the following manifesto sent by him to 
Schenectady, a copy of which was obtained by Pieter 
Schuyler, on the tenth of November : 

''Whereas I am authorized by the Hon^ie Delegates 
or Members elected at a Free and Public Election of the 
Freemen and Respective counties of the Province of N. 
York and Military Council thereof to arrange and settle 
the affairs of the City and County of Albany according 
to the Constitution of the other Counties of the Province 
aforesaid pursuant to the interest of His Majesty our 
Sovereign Lord & King and the Welfare of the Inhabit- 
ants of Said Counties. 

''These are to advise and require all the Inhabitants 
of Schinnectady and adjoining places to repair forthwith 
to the aforesaid City of Albany to receive their Rights 
and Privileges & Liberties in such manner as if the Gov- 
ernment of King James the 2d had never existed or 
any of his arbitrary Commissions or any of his Gov- 
ernors illegal acts had never been executed or done.'' 

The true import of this document is made more ap- 
parent in this postscript to a letter written by Hendrick 
Cuyler, one of the members of Leisler's council of war, 
to the people of Schenectady : 

P. S. — " We earnestly request the aid and diligence of 
the Noble gentlemen there [Schenectady] for the promo- 
tion of the Public Good in assisting those whom we now 
Send up at Albany's request being to the number of 50 
men, of whom Jochim Staets is Commander ; not doubt- 
ing but the gentlemen of Shennechtady will be preferred 


to those of Albany in the approaching New Clovernment 
as we pledge ourselves to speak in favor of your Dili- 
gence. ^ '^ ^' 

''We have this day I'esolved that you shall have no 
less Privileges than those of Albany in Trading and 
Boiling which M^ Milbo7^ne will explain to you. We 
therefore request that you will exhibit all Dilligence in 
repairing together to Albany to welcome said Milborne.'' 

On Sunday afternoon, the tenth of November, the 
members of the convention assembled in the city-hall. 
When Milborne came, he was asked at whose expense 
the fifty-one men had been brought to Albany. He re- 
plied at the expense of the people of Albany, each man 
having been hired at twenty-five shillings a month. 
The recorder, Dirck Wessells, replied, ''That that was 
Repugnant to there Resolution and letter- sent to N. 
Yorke y^ 4th of Septemb'' Last, which ye s<^ Milborne 
Perruseing founde to be soe, & askd all ye People Stand- 
ing by if they thougt ye County of albany would be 
able to pay yt [that] Charge, who all unanimoush^ an- 
swered no ; upon which y^ s^ Milborne said, Then we 
shall fynde a way for it, and showed ye Convention his 
Commission Signed and Sealed. ^ -^ ^ 

''The Record^ told him that Such a Commission 
granted by a Company of Private men was of no foiT^e '' 
in Albany, ''and that he [Milborne] had no Power to 
doe or order any affaires in albany, but if he could shew 
a Commission'- from their majesties, King William and 
Queen Mary, then the people of the city were willing to 
respect it. 

" The Sd Milborne went on and made a long oration to 
ye Common People, which were got together in ye Citty 
hall, of Popish government and arbitrary Power, Con- 
demning all things which had been done and Passed in 


ye late King James Stuarts time. Particularly ye Charter 
of this Citty, and that there ought to be a new Election 
of Magistrates, &c., and many oy things, to Stirr up 
ye Common People, upon which he was told that if all 
things were null and void wh were passed in King James 
time then ye Inhabitants were in a Desolate Condition, 
Since many Patents of houses and lands were obtained 
in ye Late King Jaaies time, which undoubtedly will 
be approved and Confirmed by there Majts, now upon 
ye Throne, and that there had been a free Election ac- 
cording to ye Charter, and further that they Plainly did 
Discern yt ye S^ Milborne by his Smooth tongue & Pre- 
tended Commissions did aim [atl nothing else but to 
Raise mutiny and Sedition amongst ye People, '^ "^ ^ 
therefore if things were Carried on as Milborne would 
have" them, ^'all would Runn into Confusion with 
ye Indians, all authority [ would bej turned Upside Doune 
as in many Parts of ye government was done, to which 
ye Convention by no means could Condeshend, but were 
Resolved to be quiet & in Peace if Possible till ye Long 
expected orders from there Majts should come to hand 
under whom they acted, and therefore desyred ye S^ Mil- 
borne to desist from Such Discourse, for that they would 
Dispute no more with him about it, leaving all till a Law- 
full Power came, nott acknowlegeing him to have any, 
and that they should Proceed to discourse of quartering 
ye men who endured so much hardship by Lyeing aboard, 
upon which it was Concluded to meet again in ye morn- 
ing about 9 a clock to aggree about ye quartering of ye 51 
men Sent for our assistance." 

On Monday morning, when the members of the con- 
vention learned that the city hall was filled with a large 
number of excited people, they assembled in Dirck Wes- 
sells's residence, where they endeavored to. agree with 


Jacob Milborne respecting the quartering of the soldiers 
on board the sloops. But as Milborne insisted that his 
men should be placed under the command of an officer 
who held no civil position and that then he should find a 
way for paying them for their services, the convention 
declined to accept his proposals. 

Meanwhile the convention sent messengers to the city 
hall with orders to the people assembled there " to dis- 
perse themselfs and goe home.'' The latter would not 
comply, but elected Jochim Staets, a lieutenant of the 
militia-company commanded by Captain Wendell, to be 
the captain of the soldiers from New York. To confirm 
their election of this officer, who was a member of the 
convention, about a hundred of these excited electors, 
who were mostly youths and no freeholders, signed their 
names to the commission given to Jochim Staets. 

'' Yea,'' it is recorded, '' y^ People were so Eageing and 
mutinous that some of y^ Convention being in y^ Citty 
hall, were forced to withdraw themselfs, being threatened 
and menaced that they were in danger of their life, 
all of which was occasioned by y^ Instigation of Jacob 

Perceiving that the municipal and county officials 
could not be induced to comply with his demands, Jacob 
Milborne, on Wednesday, marched his soldiers into the 
city from Martin Garretson's island where they had 
bivouacked since Monday. The burghers, who had be- 
come his partisans, received the men from New York, it 
is said, into their '^houses without billeting or lawful 

On Friday, as it is recorded, he marched them to the 
front of the fort, where he made a demand that the gate 
of the fort should be opened. He ''was answered by 
ye Mayr, Pieter Schuyler, Esq^, Command^ of y^ s^ fort, 


Thatt he kept y^ Same for there Majes King wiUiam & 
queen niary, & Commanded" him to depart ^^ in there 
Majes name with his Seditious Company." Then the 
angry emissary attempted to force the gate open, and 
had so far succeeded that he had one of his feet inside of 
it, when he was pushed away and the gate was again 
shut and barred. He then marched his soldiers away, 
but after a time returned, his men having in the mean 
time loaded their guns with bullets. When he arrived 
the second time in front of the fort, a protest was read 
from one of the bastions to him, in which it was de- 
clared that " the Convention of y^ Civil & Military officers 
of ye Citty & County of Albany now p'sent in y^ fort doe 
therefore Protest hereby in their Maj^s King WiUiam & 
Queen Maryes name, before god and ye world against 
ye s^ Milborne and his Seditious Troops, for all Dam- 
mages, Murthers, Bloodsheds^ Plunderings, and oy^" mis- 
chieffs which may Ensue by his Eebellious actions and 
charge him & them forthwith to withdraw themselves 
from there s^ Majes fort." 

While these things were happening, a number of Mo- 
hawk Indians, who were standing near the fort and watch- 
ing with eager eyes the tumult at the fort-gate, became 
greatly excited, and sent word to Pieter Schuyler that if 
Milborne did not depart with his company that they 
would fire upon the disburbers. '^ Whereupon ye Mayr 
Desyred Doctor Dellius & ye Recorded to goe to ye Indians 
to Pacify and quiet them for ye Bussinesse was y^ [that J a 
Person without Power oi* authority would be Master over 
the gent^^ here which they would nott admitt ; the In- 
dians answered goe and tell him if he come out of ye gates 
we will fyre upon him, which Doctor Dellius forthwith 
Communicated to ye s^ Milborne at ye head of his Compe 
in ye Presence of a great many Burgers who made no 


further attempt to goe to y<^ fort, but Marched doune 
the towne and Dismissed his men." 

On Saturday, the sixteenth of November, some of 
the citizens who had become Milborne's partisans, signed 
an agreement with him for the payment of the expenses 
of his soldiers, who unwilhngly accepted Jochim Staets 
as their captain. It is said that Jacob Milborne then de- 
parted for New York, leaving the company in a state of 

On Monday, the twenty-fifth of November, Captain 
Jonathan Bull with eighty-seven men from Connecticut 
for the defence of Albany arrived at Greenbush, and the 
next day marched with flying colors into the city where 
he '^was rec^ by ye May^" & aldermen att ye gate & 
bid welcome He drew up his men in ye middle of 
ye Broad [StateJ Street, gave three volleys & was ans- 
wered by 8 gunns from ye fort ; ye men were orderly 
quartered in ye Citty and extreamly well accepted." 

On the following Friday, Lieutenant Enos Talmadge 
of the Connecticut company was sent with twenty-four 
men to Schenectady to do guard-duty. Captain Staets 
meanwhile became so arrogant that the refused to take 
part in the defence of the city, and went to Schenectady 
with some persons of his faction. The authorities 
thought it * ' convenient to keep a day extraordinary for 
fasting and prayer," and ordered that Wednesday, the 
fourth of December, should be duly observed as a day of 
prayer and fasting, when the people should pray to the 
Almighty God, to free them from the bloody sword of 
their enemies and especially from the inhuman barbarity 
of the heathen. 

When Jacob Leisler received the order of the twenty - 
ninth of July addressed to Lieutenant-governor Nichol- 
son ' ' and in his absence to such as for the time being 


take care for preserving the Peace and administering the 
Laws in their Ma^ys Province of New York in America," 
to proclaim Wilham & Mary, the prince and the princess of 
Orange, king and queen of England, Scotland, France, 
and Ireland, and the supreme lord and lady of the prov- 
ince of New York, he immediately claimed the authority, 
in the absence of Lieutenant-governor Nicholson, to ex- 
ecute the orders of their majesties' council. He there- 
fore, on the twenty-eighth of December, wrote ''To ye 
Military and Civill officers and y^ Protestant freemen In- 
habitants of ye Citty and County of Albanie," saying: 
" I having Received orders from his Maje King William 
for taking care of this Government, have Commissionated 
Capi^ Jochim Staas to take into his Possession Fort 
Orange and keep ye Souldiers in good order and Discipline, 
and yt ye Magistracy may be in a good Decorum have 
Ordered and doe hereby Order that free Elections be forth- 
with made for a Mayor and Aldermen whom I have 
Signified to Cap^ Staas with whom Pray Correspond." 

When the members of the convention learned from 
Captain Staets that Leisler had no other authority than 
that assumed by him and that he had sent a copy of the 
proclamation to Captain Staets which had come into his 
hands addressed to Lieutenant-governor Nicholson who 
was then in England, they resolved ''not to- suffer ye Least 
Innovation or Alteration in ye government " of the city 
and the county until the commands of their majesties 
came to them. They also drew up a protest in which 
they recited that ''Jacob Leysler of ye City of N. Yorke 
Merchant " had " for some monthes past assumed to him- 
self a Power to Command there Majes Port at N: Yorke 
■^ ^^ "'' without ye Least Commission or Authority de- 
rived to him from ye Crowne of England ; whose Ambition 
and Restlesse Spiritt, together with Diverse of his associ- 


ates " had " Indefaticably strove and Endeavored to bring 
there Majes King WiUiam and Queen Marys Loveing sub- 
jects in ye City and County of albany unto y^ same Confu- 
sion and Slavery, upon Pretence to Redeem them from Ar- 
bitrary Power, and to free them from ye Yoke of Popery/' 
and that lie had attempted to delude the common people 
by assuming that he was intrusted with the care of the 
province and the administration of the laws in the ab- 
sence of Lieutenant-general Nicholson, and that he con- 
tinued "to make new Confusion "^ "^^ - by sending 
orders and Commissions to Jochim Staes, "' '* ''' in- 
tending thereby to subvert ye government " of the city, 
' ' and Turn all upside Downe, '' Therefore, as the signers 
of the protest declared, ''to Prevent Such Confusion, Inno- 
vation, and Alteration," and not ''to Incurr there Majes 
Displeasure for our too much Lenity, Wee doe in his Majes 
King Williams name, forewarn. Discharge, forbid, and 
Prohibite ye s^ Jochim Staas and his associates upon Pain 
of Rebellion to Con vein or cause any meeting or assembly 
of People to come together, -^ ^ ^ and therefore in ye 
Behalfe of there Majes Leidge People of ye said Citty and 
County we do Protest against ye s^ elochim Staets and 
his associates for all Bloodshedds, Plunderings, Rob- 
beries, mischeeffs, Dammages, Losses, Detriments that 
may henceforth Ensue by his or there Irregular and 
Illegal Proceedings." 

To itnpress the minds of the people with the signifi- 
cance of these statements, the protest v/as published on 
the thirteenth of January, 1690, with the following 
I)ublic ceremony : 

"The Mayr with ye Recordi" and Aldermen and ye 
Justices and ye Common Councill marched from there 
Majes Fort (The marshall going before with a white 
Rod) accompanied with diverse of ye Antient Citizens, 



with a guarde of fifty inhabitants in arms. The May^ as 
ye Kings Leift [heutenant], together with ye Eecordr, 
alderman Shaik, and Gapt Marte Gerritse, Justice of 
ye Peace, as soon as they came within ye Citty Grates, 
went with their Swords Pointed. Then followed ye other 
aldermen and Justices and Common Councill and Sun- 
drey Gitizens and then the guards, and in this Posture with 
Drumms Beateing came to ye Plain Before ye Ghurch 
where ye Bell Rung thrice. Then the Mayor made a 
speech to ye Gitizens which flokd together, showing the 
Reasons why he came there in Such manner. Then 
ye Protest was Read in English and Dutch. This being 
done they all went in ye Same Posture through ye Prin- 
ciple Streets of ye Gitty and so up to ye fort, where ye 
guardes were Dismissed and thankd by ye May^^ ye Pre- 
sent Gommander of ye fort, for ye Service they had done 
there Majes King William and Queen Mary that day, and 
ye Protest [was] sent by ye Marshall to be affixed at ye 
Porch of ye Ghurch.''' 

At this time it was known that the French had a 
large force of soldiers and Indians at Montreal, and that 
the season of the year was most favorable for an attack 
upon Albany, if they intended to invade the province. 
About forty Mohawk Indians were a week later sent 
northward as far as Lake Ghamplam as scouts, who were 
instructed to bring as quickly as possible any intelligence 
they might obtain of the movements of the French to- 
ward Albany. The inhabitants of Schenectady had be- 
come so distracted and disunited by Leisler's agents that 
they were little concerned respecting the insecure situa- 
tion of the village on the frontier* of the province. For 
their want of vigilance, they paid a bloody penalty. 

Gomte de Frontenac had now at Montreal a body of 
soldiers about one hundred in number and about as many 


Indians, under the command ot Sieur Le Moyne de Sainte 
Helene and Lieutenant Daillebout de Mantet, to attack 
Albany. This force departed from Montreal about the 
beginning of February, 1 690. When the party arrived 
at a place where there was a trail leading to Corlear, as 
Schenectady was called, the French officers abandoned 
the intention of attacking Albany and by the advice of 
the Indians determined to fall upon the former place. 
On the night of the eighth of February, about eleven 
o'clock, the unseen enemy reached the silent village. 
Four squaws, discovered in a wigwam near the palisaded 
place, gave the invaders information that hastened the 
doom of the sleeping inhabitants. The weather was 
extremely cold. The French officers led their soldiers 
and Indians through an open gate into the village. "The 
signal of attack was given Indian fashion, and the entire 
force rushed on simultaneously. M. de Mantet placed 
himself at the head of a detachment, and reached a small 
fort where the garrison was under arms. The gate was 
burst in with considerable difficulty, the whole [structure] 
set on fire, and all who defended the place slaughtered. 

"The sack of the town began a moment before the 
attack on the fort. Few houses made any resistance. 
'Yc ::- ':f rjij^^ massacre lasted two hours. The remainder 
of the night was spent in placing sentinels, and in taking- 
some repose. "^ ''' '^ In order to oc^cupy the savages, 
who would otherwise have taken to drink and thus ren- 
dered themselves incapable for defence, the houses had 
already been set on fire." Two dwellings were not 
burned. "All the rest were consumed. The lives of 
between fifty and sixty persons, old men, women, and 
children, were spared, they having escaped the first fury 
of the attack. ''' "* -' There were upward of eighty 
well-built and well-furnished houses in the town. 


"The return march began with thirty prisoners. 
-X- ^ :f jij^g French lost but twenty-one men, namely 
four Indians and seventeen Frenchmen. Only one In- 
dian and one Frenchman were killed at the capture of 
the town. The others were lost on the road.^' These 
paragraphs are a part of a French account of the attack 
on Schenectady. 

The following account of the reception of the news at 
Albany of this horrifying occurrence appears in the re- 
cords under the date of Sunday, the ninth of February : 

''This morning about 5 a Clock ye alarm was brought 
by Symon Schermerhoorn who was shott threw his Thigh, 
yt [that] ye french and Indians had murthered ye People 
of Skinnechtady ; haveinggot into ye Towne about 11 or 
12 a Clock, there being no Watch Kept (ye Inhabitants 
being so negligent and Eefractory) and yt he had much 
adoe to Escape they being very numerous. '' ''' ''' 

' ' The alarm being given all People Repared to there 
Post, ye fort fyred several! gunns to give ye alarm to ye 
farmers but few heard, there being such an Extream Snow 
above Knee Deep. Severall ye people haveing Escaped 
ye Cruelty of ye french and there Indians came Running 
here & told us ye Village was a fyre and yt they had 
much adoe to Escape for all ye Streets were full of french 
and Indians, & y^ . many People were murthered, and y^ 
ye enemy were marching hither, which news was Con- 
tinually Confirmed till afternoon. '' "-'" '^ Some horse- 
men [w^ere] sent out to Discover ye Enemies force and 
there march but were forced to Return ye snow being so 
deep. ^^ ''"' '' This night we gott a letter from Skin- 
nechtady Informing us yt the Enemy j^^ had done y ^ Mis- 
chiefi'e there, were about one hundred and fifty or 200 
men but that there were 1400 men in all ; One army for 
Albany & anoy^ for Sopus which hindred much ye 


marching of any force out of ye Citty fearing yt ye enemy 
might watch such an opportunity/' 

The horrors of the night-attack upon Schenectady are 
thus depicted by Pieter Schuyler, the mayor of Albany, 
in a letter, dated the fifteenth of February : '' No tongue 
can express the Cruelties that were committed. The 
whole Village was instantly in a Blaze. Women with 
Child [were] riped open, and their Infants cast into the 
Flames, or dashed against the Posts of the Doors. Sixty 
Persons perished in the Massacre, and twenty-seven were 
carried into Captivity. The rest fled naked towards Al- 
bany, thro' a deep Snow which fell that very Night in a 
terrible Storm ; and twenty-five of these Fugitives lost 
their Limbs in the Flight, thro' the Severity of the Frost." 

On Monday, Captain Bull, taking with him a detail 
of soldiers from the different companies in Albany, pro- 
ceeded to the burned village to succor the suffering peo- 
ple and to bury the dead. He was instructed, if he found 
any friendly Indians there, to take them and to pursue 
the retreating enemy and to '' use all means Imaginable 
to Rescue y^ Prisoners." When the Connecticut officer 
undertook his depressing task of interring the bloody, 
blackened, frozen bodies that lay in the ashes of the con- 
sumed buildings, he found those of Lieutenant Enos 
Talmadge, Sergeant Church, and the other members of 
his company who had been killed while gallantly de- 
fending the palisaded fort, which the French soldiers 
under Lieutenant Daillebout de Mantet first assailed. 

Fearful that the French might again invade the pro- 
vince, it was resolved by the convention of Albany to 
persuade the Mohawks to move to Schenectady and build 
a castle there, and also to solicit the ' ' Indians of Skach- 
kook to come & live & Plant upon Maxte gerritse Island " 
[now Van Rensselaer Island], 


On the second of March, the convention commissioned 
Robert Livingston and Captain Gerret Tennise to go to 
the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut and to 
treat and consult with their governors and councils 
respecting such things as were ''Requisite for there 
Majes King William & Queen Maryes Service & ye Safety 
of there subjects '' in the city and county of Albany, and 
to show the officers the " necessity of joyning all forces 
x- -;:- •::- ^^ invadc '"' '^" '"' Cauida by Sea & Land/' 
These commissioners were also instructed ''to desyre 
such assistance & supply from them " as were needed. 

Two days thereafter, Jacob Leisler and his council 
commissioned Johannes de Bruyn, Johannes Provoost, 
and Jacob Milborne to proceed to Albany with one hun- 
dred and sixty soldiers and to obtain possession of Fort 
Orange, as Fort Albany was then called, and to superin- 
tend, order and control the affairs of King William's gov- 
ernment. When these commissioners arrived in Albany 
and made known their mission to the convention, its 
members were so divided in opinion respecting the pro- 
priety of recognizing Leisler s assumed authority as lieu- 
tenant-governor of the province that they, after much 
discussion, determined that if Milborne and his associates 
would agree to perform certain stipulations that they 
would consent to grant what the former demanded. 

Robert Livingston, writing to Sir Edmund Andros, 
from Hartford, Couiiecticut, on the fourteenth of April, 
IfUH), speaks of the manner in which Leisler's delegates 
observed the articles of capitulation, signed by them on 
the twentieth of March : ''I had letters last week from 
home. '"■ ^ "^ They have surrendered ye fort to Leis- 
ler's party ; for this CoUony [Connecticut] drew off ye 
Company yt [that] was there as soon as ye N. Yorke 
forces ^ '" "' came up, and [Connecticut] advised 


them to submit to Leysler as also did Boston, calling him 
Leift. Governor, and [saidj yt ^e could not expect any 
assistance till we had submitted, for every one of our 
neighbors drew back there hands." The disheartened 
ofificial relates that the New York commissioners failed 
to pay the English soldiers garrisoning Fort Orange and 
ejected them^ except thirteen, ''among ye rest poor 
Sharpe," who was lame, ''being wounded with a great 
gunn yt splitt when ye alarm came of Shinnectady . " 
^' They of Albany" he writes, "agree wel enough with ye 
New Yorke Commissioners concerning ye carying on ye 
war. Albany furnishes 140 men, Sopus 60, N. Yorke 
200, yt goe out in a months time against ye enemy with 
ye 5 nations towards Canida. '^ ''' ''^' 

"As soon as 'Leisler' heard of my goeing from Al- 
bany to these Colonies, he sends to this Colony and Bos- 
ton to apprehend me, writeing warrants, conts [contain- 
ing] many false and pernicious lyes, yt I should have 
spoke, this and that, against ye Prince of Orange, think- 
ing by y^ means to render me odious to these Colonies, 
yt they should not send supplyes, and then he could 
manage Albany at his pleasure." 

In this letter to Grovernor Andros, the persecuted Al- 
banian further remarks : "I have noe more to add but 
pray your Excell. to be mindfuU of my concerns about 
ye Albany expedition, yt His Majesty may send orders to 
settle and pay all these arrears, else I am undone ; for 
there is about 400 £ I am out, besides what I have ye 
mortgage for, and I have since these revolutions advanced 
considerable expecting every day a settlemt. Brother 
Cortlant and I have maintained ye Kings souldiers at Al- 
bany till ye 12 of March 16ft exclus: and now they turn 
them out like doggs, and tell them, ' let ye Convention 
pay yow/ who administred ^ ^^ ^ ye Q^^^h of alle- 


gience to them for King William and Q. Mary, for none 
elce were admitted to stay but them that took yt oath, 
because they should have nothing to object against us." ^ 

Leisler, having at last obtained from the authorities 
of Albany a recognition of his claim to administer the 
government of the province, permitted Pieter Schuyler to 
retain the office of mayor, Johannes Cuyler was ap- 
pointed town-clerk in the place of Robert Livingston, 
and Captain Jochim Staets given the command of Fort 
Orange, then garrisoned with sixty men. 

The proposed expedition against Canada being favored 
by Leisler, a council of war was held in New York, on 
the first of May, 1690 In July about five hundred sol- 
diers and a number of Indians were concentrated at 
Albany. Fitzjohn Winthrop of Connecticut, having re- 
ceived from the governor of that colony a commission 
'^'to command the forces designed against Canada," 
reached Albany with some soldiers from Connecticut in 
the latter part of the month. Robert Livingston came 
from Hartford with these troops, and gave his house to 
the Connecticut officer for his headquarters. Shortly 
after his arrival, the latter was commissioned by Leisler 
as major-general of the army of invasion. About the be- 
ginning of August, Major-general Winthro]) marched his 
forces to Wood Creek, at the south end of Lake Cham- 
plain. Unprovided with canoes and provisions, the little 
army was compelled to return and went into camp at 
Grreenbush, on the twenty-first of August. Other than a 
foray conducted by Captain John Schuyler, nothing of 
importance was accorhplished by the expedition of 1690. 
Leisler became so exasperated by the sudden, incon- 
sequential termination of it, that he hastened to Albany 
and imprisoned General Winthrop and a number of other 

J Doc, colonial hist. N. Y., vol iii. pp. 708-710. 


officers. This arbitrary act at once caused a great tumult. 
The vindictive usurper unable to quell the menacing sol- 
diers and Indians quickly released the officers. The in- 
censed government of Connecticut severely censured the 
pretentious demagogue for this unlawful exercise of 
power, and told him ''that a prison is not a catholicon 
for all state maladies." 

On the tenth of October, Leisler appointed Jochim 
Staets, Johannes Wendell, Jan Janse Bleecker, Pieter 
Bogardus, and Ryer Jacobse Schermerhorn to superin- 
tend, direct, and control the affairs of the government of 
the city and county of Albany. 

The disturbed condition of the province under the 
government of Leisler and his associates, and the constant 
apprehension of a descent upon the city by the French 
continued to disquiet the people of Albany during the 
winter of 1690 and 1691. 

The arrival of Governor Henry Sloughter in New 
York, on the nineteenth of March, 1691, and the im- 
prisonment of Jacob Leisler on the next day, ended the 
period of revolt in the province. On the ninth of April, 
the Assembly convened in the city of New York. Dirck 
Wessels and Levinus van Schaick v^^ere representatives 
from Albany county, and Kiliaen van Rensselaer from 
Rensselaerswyck. Several important acts relating to 
Albany w^ere passed. One directed that a court of ses- 
sions should be held for the city and county of Albany, 
in the city-hall, on the tirst Tuesdays in June, October, 
and February of each year, for ^'the increase of virtue 
and discouraging of evil doers ; " the sessions of which 
court were to " continue for the space and time of two 
dayes and no longer." A court of common pleas was 
also ordered to be held in the city-hall ; beginning the 
next day after the termination of the court of sessions 


and continuing two days, one judge and three justices 
occupying the bench, ''to hear, try, and determine all 
things triable at the common law. " 

An act was also passed for the defence of the frontiers 
of the province in the county of Albany. The governor 
was empow^ered to raise '' one company to consist of one 
hundred fuzileers, with their proper officers, which shall 
remain in the said county, for the defence thereof one 
whole year, to commence on the twenty-eighth day of 
March now last past." Of the sum of £2000 to be raised 
by the province to pay the expenses of this body of sol- 
diers, the city and county of Albany were to be assessed 

• When Governor Sloughter, in the latter part of May, 
visited Albany and Schenectady, he held a number of 
conferences with the sachems of the five nations assem- 
bled in the city-hall in Albany. One of the Indian orators 
referred to the past troubles in the province, and said : 
" We have a tree of peace and tranquility in this place, 
which tree has shook and moved much of late. We make 
that tree firm and strong so that in the future it may not 
waver but be immovable. " The governor writing, in New 
York, on the eleventh of July, 1()91, to the governors of the 
neighboring provinces, speaks of his visit, saying : ^' I re- 
turned to this place from Albany on the '27th past, where 
I left aU things in a very good posture and with much dif- 
ficulty have secured our Indians. I found that place 
in great disorder, our plantations and Schenectady almost 
ruined and destroyed by the enemys dureing the time of 
the late confusion here. I have garrisoned Schenectady 
and the Halfe Moon with some of the hundred fusileers 
raised by our Assembly for the defence of the frontier at 
Albany; the remainder with one of the King's companys 
are posted at Albany. 


''By the Indians propositions herewith sent you, you 
will perceive their sentiments and what apprehensions 
they have concerning your government and the rest of 
the adjacent colonys, and how farr tliey think you [are] 
obliged (being in the same chaine of Covenant with 
them) to aid and assist us against the French our com- 
mon enemy. ^' ''' '-' I need not relate unto you of how 
great import the preservacon of this place [Albany] is, 
being the only bulwark and safeguard of all Their Majes- 
tys plantacons on the main [coast] of America, and if, for 
want of strength, the French should assault and gain 
Albany, how farr your Government and all the English 
Colonys on both sides of us would be eiidangered, you can 
easily judge. For we have nothing but that place that 
keeps our Indians steady to us, and the loss of that must 
be the loss of all the Kings interest on this Continent." ^ 

Meanwhile Major Pieter Schuyler, the mayor of the 
city, had marched from Albany on the twenty-first of 
June, with a small body of soldiers and Indians, and on 
the first of August, fell upon the French settlement of La 
Prairie de la Madeleine, near Montreal, and killed about 
two hundred of the enemy's people and Indians, losing 
only twenty- one men and twenty-two Mohawks and 
River Indians. 

After the sudden death of Governor Slough ter on the 
twenty-third of July, Major Richard Ingoldsby ad- 
ministered the government of the province until the 
arrival of Governor Benjamin Fletcher, in New York, 
on the twenty-ninth of August, 1692. 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 784, 785. 




The persistence of the French in their attempts to 
obtain possession of the province of New York kept the 
people of Albany in a state of constant disquietude. The 
vigilance of the tribes of the five nations of Indians to 
preserve themselves from subjection by the French 
greatly affected the fur trade on which the welfare of 
inhabitants of the city mainly depended. The exigencies 
of this period of war drew to the city for its defence 
various bodies of soldiers, w^ho were either billeted in the 
dwellings of the people, quartered in Fort Orange, or 
cam])ed on Martin Gerretson's Island. Houses were built 
outside the j^alisades to lodge the Indians, who took part 
in tlie protection of the city and made frequent recon- 
noiters along the frontier to discover the movements of 
the enemy. Details of soldiers were stationed at Sche- 
nectady, at Niskayuna, and at Half Moon, (Waterford,) 
to guard the fording places in the Mohawk Eiver. 

The French, in January, 1(393, invaded the province of 
New York to attack the palisaded villages of the Mo- 
hawks whose frequent forays along the borders of Cana- 
da had checked the settlement of that country and had 
prevented Louis IV. from obtaining the possession of the 
territory lying between Montreal and the Ohio River. 



About three hundred and fifty soldiers and two hundred 
Indians, provided with rackets to prevent theii' feet from 
sinking into the snow and hght sledges drawn by dogs to 
transport provisions, reached the first Mohawk village, 
near Schenectady, on the eighth of February. The 
absence of the resident warriors permitted the French to 
destroy it. The undefended second village was also 
burnt. In the third, which was called Tionondage, were 
foi'ty warriors, who, when the Fi'ench entered it un- 
perceived, resisted their assailants and killed thirty of 
the enemy. Its brave defenders, however, were slain, 
and the French force with throe hundred })risoners, men, 
women, and children, retreated towards Canada, pur- 
sued by Major Pieter Schuyler, who had the command 
of about three hundred soldiers and militiamen and about 
the same number of Indians. The companies of fusileei's, 
militia, foot and horse, were respecti\^ely commanded by 
Captains Peter Mathews, Arent Schuyler, Benjamin 
Phipps, Kiliaen van Rensselaer, Thomas Garton, and 
Lieutenant John Schuyler. The pui'suit of the French 
was continued for several days, during which time, 
between thirty and forty of the enemy's men were killed 
and about forty prisoners rescued. 

When Major Schuyler returned to Schenectady, he 
found Governor Fletcher there with a reinforcement of 
nearly three hundred men brought from New York, from 
which he had sailed with three sloops late in the 
afternoon of the fourteenth of February, and arrived at 
Albany, about nine o'clock, on the morning of the seven- 
teenth. The promptitude with which the governor had 
hastened to aid the Indians obtained from them their 
hearty thanks, and they thereafter called him Cajen- 
quiragoe, Lord of the Great Swift Arrow. 

While Governor Fletcher was in Albany, the muni- 


cipal officers presented him with an address, in which 
they adverted to his dihgence in hastening with troops to 
the defence of the frontier and the city: " Wee therefore 
out of a deep sence of yo^ ExcelL nnparelled affection to 
&care for us, cannot but esteem our selves highly obhdged 
to yor Excellency and begg of you to accept our unfeigned 
thanks, assuring yo^ ExcelL as wee shall never forgett 
yo^ extraordinary care of us, soe wee shall ever admire 
and beg the continuence of yo^ Excellency s benign gov- 
ernment over us. And since the Maquase nation is wholly 
dispersed by the enemyes late burning all their Castles & 
our farmers live straggling up and down the country in 
great danger to be cutt off by sculking Indians, wee pray 
that yoi* Excellency in yo^ wisdom will be pleased to order 
some convenient place where the remnant of the said 
Nation may be convened together & fortified against 
any attaque of the enemy, & that the farmers may be 
ordered to fortify themselves in Comps together that the 
enemy may not have an advantage of them." ^ 

By Governor Fletcher's appointment, Pieter Schuyler 
became a member of the provincial council, Robert 
Livingston was made a sub-collector of customs at Al- 
bany, and William Shaw, ganger. As municipal officers, 
Pieter Schuyler was appointed mayor, Dirck Wessells 
recorder, Robert Livingston town-clerk, and John Apell 
sheriff. Major Richard Ingoldsby, commanding Fort Or- 
ange, was made president and Robert Livingston judge- 
advocate of the court-martial, who with the captains of 
the companies in the city, had power to exercise martial 
law. The militia of the county of Albany, embracing five 
companies of foot soldiers and one company of dragoons, 
the whole numbering three hundred and fifty- nine men, 
was under the command of Major Pieter Schuyler. 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 14-20, 


In June, 169B, Governor Fletcher, learning that the 
French were endeavoring to make a treaty of peace with 
the Indians of the five nations, visited Albany, and held 
conferences with the savages. In one of his speeches he 
said: '' I have received information as if some of the breth- 
ren were wavering and inclined to a peace with the com- 
mon enemy. I desire to know the truth of the matter and 
am assured that such thoughts must oidy arise from the 
instigation of the Jesuit Milet whom some of the breth- 
ren have so long suffered to live among them, and whose 
practice is to delude and betray them. Let me therefore 
advise you to remove this bad person from among you." 
He then gave them the following presents, which he told 
them were brought from the king and queen ''to renew 
and confirm the ancient covenant not only in behalf of 
this province but those of New England, Virginia, Mary- 
land and Pennsylvania," and which were also an ex- 
pression of their majesties' esteem : ^sH guns, 146 bags 
of powder, 800 bars of lead, 1000 flints, 87 hatchets, 4 
gross of knives, 5 pieces of duffel-cloth, 12(> shirts, oO 
rolls of tobacco, 5^ gross of pipes, 9 dozen pairs of stock- 
ings, 30 kegs of rum, 200 loaves of bread, 4 casks of beer, 
2 fat bulls, besides salt, and 24 brass -kettles. To certain 
chiefs or sachems he gave 8 laced coats, 8 laced hats, 'J-i 
shirts, 4 guns, f) kegs of rum and 1 dozen pairs of stock- 

One of the Indian orators, who v^as delegated to ex- 
l)ress the thanks of the recipients of these gifts, said : 
"We are extremely glad, and roll and tumble in joy 
that our great king and queen have been pleased to en- 
large their Itevors to us in our great necessities.'' ^ 

In September, lf)9P), an allotment was made for the 
delivery of five hundred and sixty new palisades at Fort 

1 Doc, colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. '25, 26, 28, 20 ; 88-4^. 


Orange by the inhabitants of the county of Albany. ' The 
sum of fifteen pounds had been authorized by the gov- 
ernment to be expended for new pahsades, so that the 
persons dehvering them at the fort received 6f pence for 
each pahsade. Some were to be twenty feet long and 
some nineteen^ and all twelve inches thick at the smallest 
end, ''of good smooth-barked pyne, not of your black- 
barked pyne," and were to ''be sett up against the old 
stockadoes in a month's time." The people of the city of 
Albany were to ride or bring 200, the inhabitants of 
Rensselaerswyck 100, those of Schenectady 90, those of 
Kinderhook 85, those of Catskill and "Coxhacky" 35, 
and those of Ciaverack 30. The duty of opening and 
shutting the gates of the city devolved upon the city 
poi'ter and town cryer. 

Pieter Schuyler, who had been mayor of the city for 
more than eight years, was succeeded by John Abeel, 
who w^as appointed to the office by Grovernor Fletcher, on 
the fourth of October, 169i. 

The Rev. John Miller, describing Albany in 1695, says : 
^'It is in circumference about six furlongs, and hath 
therein about 200 houses, a fourth part of what there is 
reckoned to be in New York. The form of it is septan- 
gular, and the longest line [is] that which buts upon the 
river running from north to south. On the west angle is 
the fort, quadrangular, strongly stockadoed and ditched 
round, having in it twenty-one pieces of ordnance 
mounted. On the northwest side are two block-houses, 
and on the southwest as many : on the southeast angle 
stands one block-house ; in the middle of the line from 
thence northward is a horned work, and on the northeast 
angle a mount. The whole city is well stockadoed round, 
and in the several fortifications named are about thirty 
guns. Dependent on this city, and about twenty miles 


distance to the northward from it, is the Fort of Scanec- 
tade, quadrangular, with a treble stockado, a new block- 
house at every angle, and in each blo(3khouse two great 
guns ; and Nestigayune, and Half-moon ; places, formerly 
of some account, but now deserted. On this city also 
depends the Fort at the Flats, four miles from Albany, 
belonging to the River Indians, who are about sixty 
families ; it is stockadoed round, has a block-house and a 
mount, but no great guns. There are in it five Indian 
wigwams, and a house or two serving in case of necessity 
for the soldiers, in number twenty-four, who are the 
guard there." ^ 

The diagram of the city of Alban}^ contained in the 
Rev. John Miller's " Description of the province and city 
of New York : with plans of the city and several forts as 
they existed in the year 1695," ^ is no doubt a correct 
representation of the place and its suburbs. The ex- 
planation of it is given in foot-notes, as is also that of 
the diagram of the fort. ^ 

During the years 1696 and 1697, until the publication 
of the peace of Ryswick, ^ the people of Albany were fre- 
quently alarmed by the appearance of bands of Canadian 
Indians near the city, who massacred a number of the 

1 "By the Rev. John Miller. London, printed and published for the 
enlightment of such as would desire information anent the New-Found- 
Land of America." 

•^ Explanation of diagram of Albany. "1. The fort of Albany. 2. The 
Dutch Calvinist church. 3. The Dutch Lutheran church. 4. The burying 
place. 5. The Dutch Calvinist burying place. 1. 1. The block houses. 
8. The Stadt-house. 9. A great gun to clear a galley. 10. 10. The stock- 
ado. 11. 11. The gates of the city, six in all." 

Explanatfon of the fort of Albany. " 1. The governor of Albany's house, 
i!. The officers' lodgings. 3. The soldiers' lodgings. 4. The flag-staff and 
mount. 5. The magazine. 6. The Dial mount. 7. The Town mount. 
8. The well. 9. 9. The centry boxes. 11. The Sally port. 12. 12. The 
ditch fortified with stakes. 13. 13. The gardens. 14. The stockado. 15. 
The fort gate." 

3 Signed at Ryswick, Holland, September 21, 1697. 


inhabitants of the county, burned their dweUings and 
barns, and killed their cattle. On the third of May, 1697, 
Governor Fletcher ordered that a report should be ren- 
dered him of the number of persons who had left the 
city and county during the war and of the number killed 
and taken prisoners ; and also a similar report respecting 
the Indians of the five nations. On the nineteenth of 
April 1698, a return was made which disclosed that in 
1689 the inhabitants of the county were 662 men, e34:0 
women, and 1014 children ; and in 1698, they were 382 
men, 262 women, and 805 children. There were also 23 
negroes in the county in 1698. The number of the Indians 
in 1689 was : Mohaw-ks 270, Oneidas 180, Onondagas 500, 
Cayougas 300, Senecas 1300, and Eiver Indians 250, 
making a total at the beginning of the war of 2800. In 
1698 there were 110 Mohawks, 70 Oneidas, 250 Onondagas, 
200 Cayougas, 600 Senecas, and 90 Eiver Indians, in all 
1320. The report further showed that 142 men, 68 women 
and 209 children had left the city and county during the 
period of hostilities, that 16 men had been taken prisoners, 
84 had been killed and 38 had died. ^ 

On the second of April, 1698, Richard Coote, the earl 
of Bellomont, the new governor of the province, arrived 
in New York. In July, he visited Albany, and had several 
conferences with the sachems of the five nations. Writ- 
ing to the commissioners of the Council of Trade, in 
September, the governor thus speaks of some of the 
incidents of his visit: '' My journey to Albany in July 
last was very unfortunate to me in respect to my health, 
for having appointed the Five Nations of Indians to meet 
there at a day certain, I resolved to keep touch with them 
as near as I could, tho' to the hazard of my life, and I 
imbarked ^ '^ '' in the midst of a fit of the gout, by 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 337, 338. 



which ^ -^ ^ and a cold taken upon Hudson's Eiver ; 
I had Hke to have dyed when I came to Albany. How- 
ever, in the weak condition I was, I made a shift to 
manage a conference with the Indians. 

" I must confess I was strangely surprised and dis- 
couraged at the behaviour of those people the first two or 
three days conference ; for I found them so sullen and 
cold in their carriage that I thought we had quite lost 
their affections, but some of the Sachims coming to some 
of the honest Magistrates of that town, discovered to 
them they had been tamper'd with by Mr. Dellius, the 
Dutch Minister, to whom with three others, viz^ : Colonel 
Peter Schuyler, Major Dyrk Wessells, mayor of that 
Town, and one Banker % Colonel Fletcher had committed 
the whole management of all the Indian affairs ; so that 
Dellius, to serve the interest and designe of Colonel 
Fletcher in creating me all the difficulty and disturbance 
in that part of my administrations, had possessed the 
Indians (as these Sachims confessed) that their power, 
vizt : that of Dellius and the other three before mentioned 
persons, was equall to mine, and did insinuate, as if it 
did more peculiarly belong to them, to take congnizance 
of the Indians and their affairs, and to treat with and 
succor them at all times then it did me. Besides, Dellius 
did inculcate that by no means they must impeach Colonel 
Fletcher of any neglect of them or our frontiers during 
the late warr. 

' ' These practices of Dellius were the true reasons I 
afterward discovered of the cold behaviour and dogged- 
ness of the Indians to me, but they being a people who 
have naturally a great quickness of understanding, in- 
formed themselves of severall of the most substantial 
and honest people of that town that I was the King's 

1 Evert Banker. 


Governour and that Dellius had deluded and abused them ; 
they found out their error, and became more free in 
declaring their grievances to me. ''* '^' '^ 

'^I shall observe this to your Lordships that tho' the 
beginning of my treaty with our Indians was very melan- 
choly to me and all those that were present and wished 
"well to the King's government, there having been all the 
marks that can be imagined of discontent and disaffection 
in the countenances and carriages of those people ; yet to 
my unspeakable satisfaction I managed them with that 
patience and gentleness and made them so good a present, 
that I quite retrieved their affections to the King's govern- 
ment, and by the acknowledgement of all the Magistrates 
and traders at Albany, they were never known to part 
with any Governor in so good humour as they did with 
me. It does happen to be a little more expensive to the 
country this journey of mine, then usuall, it amounting 
to about twelve hundred pounds of this country money; 
but then it must be considered that all those commodities 
which are useful and acceptable to the Indians happened 
to be dearer at the time of my going up to Albany 50 per 
cent then they were ever known to be during the whole 
course of the last warr. ''" '^ '' 

' ' Dellius, the Dutch Minister, was the more industri- 
ous to amuse the Indians and make them reserved to me, 
that they might not complain of the notorious fraud and 
circumvention put upon the Mohack Indians by himself 
chiefly, and the other three before mentioned persons, 
in obtaining a grant from Colonel Fletcher of their w^hole 
country. The villany of this Dellius will appear to your 
Lordships upon the perusall of that part of the conference 
which is in manuscript and which relates wholly to that 
fraudulent bargain transacted between Dellius and six or 
eight Mohack Indians, wherein tho' he makes the Indians 


believe the land was only to be conveyed to them by 
himself and the other three persons in trnst for the use of 
them and their posterity, and to hinder the said land 
being disposed of to other hands, that would probably 
dispossesse them thereof ; yet he with the other three 
persons together with M^ Pinhorne ^ (whom I lately re- 
moved from the Council and his Judges place) obtained 
an absolute grant of all the said Mohacks land from 
Colonel Fletcher. '^ '^ '^ 

'^The next thing observable in the said Addresse [of 
the magistrates of Albany] is their giveing me thanks for 
restoring the management of the Indians and their affairs, 
to all the Magistrates of that town, which I thought was 
the fair and honest way for the advantage both of the 
Indians & Inhabitants of Albany ; for I could by no 
means approve of the private management Colonel 
Fletcher had confined the Indians affairs and trade to, 
vizt : under the direction of M^ Dellius, the Minister, 
Colonel Peter Schuyler, Major Wessells and Mr Banker, 
wherein those four persons found their Account ; but that 
town and the whole Province suffered prejudice in the 
trade with the Indians." ^ 

The land granted to the Rev. Godefridus Dellius by 
the Indians, on the third of September, 1696, was about 
seventy miles in length and about twelve in breadth, and 
extended from the Batten kill, in Washington County, 
the north bounds of the Saratoga patent, to the site of 
Vergennes, Vermont. The land granted by the Indians 
to William Pinhorn, Pieter Schuyler, the Rev. Godefridus 
Dellius, Dirck Wessells and Evert Banker was about fifty 
miles long and two miles wide, and lay on each side of 
the Mohawk River, immediately west of the site of 

1 William Pinhorn, a member of the provincial council and a justice of 
the Supreme Court. 

2 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv, pp. 362-3(57. 


Amsterdam, in Montgomery County. These patents 
were annulled by the Assembly, in May, 1699, as was 
recommended by the gov^ernor ; and the Rev. Gode- 
fridus Dellius, by the act, was deprived of his ''benefice 
at Albany." The pastorship of the Reformed church 
was then given to the Rev. Johannes Petrus Nucella, 
who was succeeded, on the twentieth of July, 1700, by 
the Rev. Johannes Lydius, who on the following day 
preached his introductory sermon. 

The dictatorial power of royalty and the blind obedi- 
ence of subjects in the seventeenth century are con- 
spicuously exhibited in the following oath, test and 
association which were taken and signed by the mayor, 
Hendrick Hanse, the recorder, Jan Janse Bleecker, the 
aldermen, the Rev. Godefridus Dellius, and one hundred 
and sixty-six of the other citizens of Albany, on the 
fourth of January, 1699 : 

i'l^ ^ X' ^' ^ (Jq hereby Promise and Swear yt I 
will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his majesty. 
King William, so help me God. 

''I, '" ^^ ^ , do swear that I do from my heart 
abhor, detest and abjure as Impious and Heretical, yt 
damnable Doctrine and Position, yt Princes Excom- 
municated or Deprived by ye Pope or any authority of 
ye See of Rome, may be deposed or murthered by their 
subjects or any other whatsoever. 

''And I doe declare yt no foreign Prince, Person, 
Prelate, State or Potentate, hath or ought to have any 
Jurisdiction, Power, Superiority, Preeminence or Au- 
thority, Ecclesiasticale or Spirituall within this Realm. 
So help me God." 


" We underwritten do solemnly and sincerely, in ye 
presence of God, profess and declare y^ wee doe believe 


yt in ye Sacrament of ye Lord's Supper there is not any 
transubstantiation of ye Elements of Bread and Wine 
into ye body and blood of Christ, or after' ye Consecration 
thereof by any person whatsoever, and yt ye Invocation 
or Adoration of ye Virgin Mary and ye Sacrifice of ye 
Mass, as they are now used in ye Church of Rome, are 
Superstitious and Idolatrous, and we do Solemnly in 
ye presence of God, Profess, Testify and Declare yt we 
do make this declaration and every part thereof in ye 
plain and ordinary Sense of ye words now read unto us 
as they are commonly understood by English Prodistants 
without any Evasion, Equivocation oj^ Mental Reservation 
whatsoever, and without any Dispensation already 
granted for ye purpose by ye Pope or any other authority 
or person whatsoever, or without any hope of any such 
Dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever, 
or without thinking yt we are or can be acquitted before 
God or Man, or absolved of this Declaration or any part 
thereof, although ye Pope or any other person or persons 
or power w^hatsoever should dispense with or annull ye 
same, or declare that it was null and void from ye begin- 


''Whereas there has been a horrid and detestable 
conspiracy formed and carried on by Papists and other 
wicked and trayterous persons for Assassinating his 
Majesties Royal Person in order to Incourage an Invasion 
from ffiance to Subvert our Rehgion, Laws and Liberties, 
we whose names are underwritten do heartily, sincerely 
and solemnly profess, testify, and declare yt his present 
Majesty, King William is rightful and lawful king of 
these Realms, and we do mutually promise and engage 
to stand by and assist each other to ye utmost of our 
powei' in ye Supjjort and Defence of his Majesties most 


sacred person and government against ye late King 
James ye pretended Prince of Wales and all theire ad- 
herents, and in case his Majesty come to any violent or 
untimely death (which God forbid) we do hereby freely 
and unanimously oblige ourselves to unite, associate, and 
stand by each other in Revenging ye same upon his 
enemies and all their adherents, and in ye supporting and 
defending ye succession of ye Crown according to an act 
in ye first year of ye Reign of King William and Queen 
Mary, instituted an act declaring ye Rights and Liberties 
of ye Subject, and settling ye succession of ye Crown. "^ 
In order to lessen the expenses of the city during 
this period of peace, the fourteen soldiers who were oc- 
cupying the block-house near the south gate of the city, 
were by a resolution of the common council, on the 
twenty-ninth of November, 1699, to be lodged in the 
fort. At the same time, John Ratcliffe and Robert 
Barrett were appointed to perform the duties of the 
rattle-watch {Ratehvagh), for one year. They were to 
patrol the city every night from ten o'clock until day- 
light, with rattles and lanterns. Their round was or- 
dered to begin at the main guard-house near the south 
gate of the city and to extend along Brower (Broadway) 
Street to the bridge over the Rutten kill at Colonel 
Schuyler's house, thence through Jonker (State) Street 
to the corner where Johannes de Wandelaer lived, on 
the hill, near the fort, thence along the hill to the house 
of Alderman Johannes Roseboom's house, on the east 
side of Parrel (Pearl) Street, north of Rom Street, 
(Maiden Lane,) thence along Parrel Street to Gysbert 
Marselis's house, on the northeast corner of Parrel and 
Rom Streets, and thence along Rom Street to the house 
of Hendrick Bries, and thence to the guard-house. 

1 Albany City records, vol. iv. p. 362. 


Whenever they saw a burning building, or thieves, they 
were instructed to raise an alarm. For their services 
during the year they were both to receive £22 16s. 

The condition of the soldiers in Fort Orange was in 
1700 a matter of much commisseration to the people of 
Albany. The governor, writing froicn New York to the 
lords of trade on the twenty -sixth of July, adverts to 
this fact: ''Some of the Inhabitants of Albany who 
are now here, tell me the Soldiers there in Garrison are 
in that shamef uU and miserable condition for the want 
of cloaths that the like was never seen. ^' '^ ^ This 
sad condition of the Soldiers does us great hurt with the 
Indians, whose chief est resort being to that town, & they 
being a very observing people, measure the greatness 
of our King, and the conduct of ajffars by the shame- 
full ill plight of the Soldiers. These persons assure me 
that some of the old crafty Sachems of the Five Nations 
have ask'd 'em, whether they thought 'em such f ooles as 
to believe our King could protect 'em from the French, 
when he was not able to keep his Soldiers in a condition 
as those in Canada are kept." 

The governor relates in a postscript to his letter the 
following incredible stories which were then current 
among the people of Albany: ' ' Decannissore, one of the 
Sachems of the Onondagas, married one of the praying 
Indians in Canada, (by praying Indians is meant such as 
are instructed by the Jesuits,) this woman was taught 
to poison as well as to pray. The Jesuits had furnish'd 
her with so subtill a poison, and taught her a leger de 
main in using it ; so that whoever she had a mind to 
poison she would drink to 'em a cup of water, and let 
drop the poison from under her nail (which are always 
very long, for the Indians never pare 'em) into the cup. 

' ' This woman was so true a disciple of the Jesuits, 


that she has poison'd a multitude of our Five Nations 
that were best affected to us. She lately coming from 
Canada in company with some of our Indians, who went 
to visit their relations in that Country who have taken 
sides with the French, And their being among others a 
Protestant Mohack, (a proper goodly young man) him 
this woman poison'd so that he died two days journey 
short of Albany, and the Magistrates of that town sent 
for his body and gave it a Christian burial. The woman 
comes to Albany, where some of the Mohacks happening 
to be, and among 'em a young man nearly related to the 
man that had been poison'd, who espying the woman, 
cries out with great horror, that there was that beastly 
woman that had poison'd so many of their friends, and 
't was not fit she should live any longer in the world to 
do more mischief ; and so made up to her, and with a 
clubb beat out her brains." 

''Aquendero the Chief Sachem of the Onondage 
Nation, who was Prolocutor [speaker] for all the Five 
Nations at the Conference I had two years ago at Al- 
bany, has been forc'd to fly from thence, and come and 
live on Coll. Schuyler's Land near Albany. Aquendero's 
son is poyson'd and languishes, and there is a sore broke 
out on one of his sides, out of which there comes hand- 
fulls of hair, so that they reckon he has been bewitch'd, 
as well as poyson'd." ^ 

In his letter of the seventeenth of October, 1700, to 
the Board of Trade, the earl speaks of his visit to Albany 
in August : ' ^ I cannot express the melancholy I was in 
after I got to Albany, for the Indians whom I feared 
would have been there before me, made me wait a fort- 
night for their coming ; so that truly I concluded them 
entirely lost to us. Some peopled fancied they were 

1 Doc colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 687, 689. 


tampered with by some of the angry pai'ty at Albany. 
The Interpreter who was sent to hasten the Sachems re- 
ported that their minds were so possessed with a jealousy 
of my intending them mischief as the French had sug- 
gested to them, that they were all that while deliberat- 
ing whether to venture to meet me at Albany. My con- 
ference with the Indians ^ -^ ^ lasted seven or eight 
days, and was the greatest fatigue I ever underwent in 
my whole life. I was shut up in a close chamber with 
50 Sachems, who besides the stink of bear's grease with 
which they plentifully dawb'd themselves were con- 
tinually either smoaking tobacco or drinking drams of 
rum. They seem'd sullen and out of humour at first, 
but by degrees I brought 'em to perfect good temper. I 
am told there never appeared so many Sachems at any 
conference as at this. There were above 200 men, 
women, and children, and 't was with some difficulty we 
could find 'em in victuals. ^ ^ ^ 

' ' I am in hopes of bringing the Eastern Indians to 
come and settle at and about Schackhook with our 
River Indians ; 't is a project I have formerly acquainted 
your Lordships with, which if I can accomplish will be 
of very great use to strengthen our Five Nations and 
annoy the French whenever we have a war with France. 
Your Lordships will find our River Indians make me an 
overture to that purpose. ^ ^ ^ Our Schackhook or 
River Indians were of those Eastern Indians, but were 
driven from that country by the people of New England 
26 years ago, in the war call'd King Philips war. Those 
Eastern Indians and our river Indians still retain their 
friendship and intermarry with each other. 

''The Penicook and Eastern Indians were cunning 
enough to send ten or twelve of their people to be pre- 
sent at our conferences at Albany, to watch and observe 


whether the Five Nations were in good intelhgence with 
me. One of 'em I remember 'd to have seen in Boston ; 
he speaks good Enghsh and I discoursed him long. He 
told me the Jesuits made him and the rest of the In- 
dians his neighours believe the Five Nations were re- 
solved to decline meeting me at Albany this time, and 
would revolt to the Governour of Canada. I was glad 
to hear the Mohacks tell those Eastern Indians that if 
they liv'd not Peaceably with the English in New Eng- 
land, they would look on 'em as their enemies and cut 
'em off. And indeed that is an unanswerable reason 
for the King's uniting the Province of the Massachusetts 
and New York always under the same Governor ; for 
otherwise the Five Nations can never be so manag'd as 
to suppress the rebellions of the Eastern Indians. I gave 
the Eastern Indians presents and they seem'd well 
pleased. ^- ^ ^ 

^'I had the two Companies at Albany, vizt. Major 
Ingoldesby's and Capt. Weemes's muster'd before me 
there. ^ '^ '^ I never in my life saw so moving a 
sight as that of the Companies at Albany, half the men 
were without breeches, shoes, and stockins when they 
muster'd. I thought it shameful to the last, degree to 
see English soldiers so abus'd. They had like to have 
mutinied. '' "^ '^ 

'^'^Iwas in great hopes your Lordships would have 
directed me to fall immediately upon fortifying at Al- 
bany and Schenectady ; those forts are not only scanda- 
lously weak, but do us unspeakable mischeif with our 
Indians, who conceive a proportionable idea of the 
Kings power & greatness. The inhabitants came all 
about me at my leaving Albany and told me in plain 
terms that if the Kiiig would not build a Fort there to 
protect 'em they would on the very first news of a war 


between England and France desert that place and fly 
to New York rather then they would stay there to have 
their throats cut. '^ ^ '^' 

^' There are half a dozen [persons] at Albany who 
have competent estates, but all the rest are miserable 
poor. ^' -^ * 

''Since I finished (as I thought) this letter, I have re- 
ceived from Albany the good news of the Eastern In- 
dians submission to the five nations. "" "" *'' This is a 
most lucky thing, and the people of New England have 
reason to bless God that they are for ever hereafter 
secure and safe from a people that have been cruell 
thornes in their sides." ^ 

In a return made of the number of the militia of the 
province of New York, in ITOO, which embraced three 
thousand one hundred and eighty-two men, the city and 
county of Albany furnished three hundred and seventy - 
one militiamen. ^ 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 114, 715, 716, 718, 726. 

2 The regiment of the city and county militia was commanded by Colonel 
Pieter Schuyler, of which Dirck Wessells was major. The first foot-company 
of the city had the following persons for its officers : Johannes Bleecker, 
captain ; Johannes Roseboom, lieutenant ; Abraham Cuyler, ensign. The 
second foot-company : Albert Janse Ryckman, captain ; Wessel Ten 
Broeck, lieutenant ; Johannes Thomasse, ensign. The officers of the first 
foot-company of the county were : Martain Cornelisse, captain ; Andries 
Douw, lieutenant ; Andries Coeymans, ensign. Those of the second foot- 
company were : Gerrit Teunisse, captain ; Jonas Douw and Jochim Lam- 
erse, lieutenants ; Volkert van Hoesen and Abraham Hanse, ensigns. The 
officers of the troop of horse were : Kiliaen van Renssalaer, captain ; 
Johannes Schuyler, lieutenant ; Bennony van Corlaer, cornet, and Anthony 
Bries, quartermaster. The foot company of Schenectady had for its officers: 
Johannes Sanderse Glen, captain ; Adam Vroman, lieutenant, and Harmen 
van Slyck, ensign. — Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 807, 811. 




In the first year of Queen Anne's reign, 1702, on the 
third of May, Edward Hyde, Lord Viscount Cornbury, 
began his administration as governor of the province of 
New York. Early in July he visited Albany, when he 
found that Colonel Wolfgang William Eomer, her maj- 
esty's engineer, had made preparations to build a new 
fort, and had provided about four hundred loads of stone 
and one hundred tons of lime for its construction. The 
garrison, commanded by Major Ingoldsby, was composed 
of one hundred and seventy-six soldiers besides officers. 
The governor was surprised to find the soldiers so scantily 
clad that many of them had nothing ^^wherewithal to 
cover their nakedness," and that they were ^^ eight weeks 
in arrears of subsistance." The governor in his report 
to the Lords of Trade, on the twenty-fourth of Septem- 
ber, 1702, speaks of the defenses of Albany and the 
frontier, saying : 

" The fort is in a miserable condition. It is a stock- 
adoed fort about one hundred and twenty foot long and 
seventy foot wide, the stockadoes are almost all roten to 
that degree that I can with ease push them down. There 
is but three and twenty guns in the fort, most of them un- 
serviceable, the carryages *^ '^ '^^ so honey-combed 
that they cannot be fired without danger. ^ -^ ^ 



''Schenectady is twenty miles from Albany upon 
another river by which the f rench must come if they 
attempt anything on Albany. This is an open Village. 
It was formerly stockadoed round but since the peace 
no care having been taken to repair the stockadoes they 
are all down. There is a Stockadoed Fort but indeed it 
is more like a pound than a fort. There is eight Guns 
in it, not above three fit for service, no Grarrison in it 
when I came, but a Serjeant and twelve men, no powder 
nor shot, neither great nor small, nor no place to put it 
into. The half moon [Waterford] is a place fourteen 
miles above Albany upon Hudsons River. There was 
[here] formerly a Stockadoed Fort made in Coll. Fletch- 
ers time. Nustigione [Niskayuna] is another place four- 
teen miles from Albany in the Woods where there was 
a pretty large Stockadoed Fort. But these two last for 
want of looking after are quite gone to mine by which 
Albany is left naked upon those two sides. ^ ^ ^ 

"As for the Militia that is in as bad a condition as 
the rest, for they have never been once muster'd since 
Coll. Fletcher went from here. ^ ^' ^ Indeed by Coll. 
Schuyler's care the Regiment of the Militia of the 
County of Albany is in pretty good condition but that 
is perfectly owning to his care. ^- ^ ^ What remains 
upon this head is to acquaint your Lordship what we 
are doing in relation to our defence. In order thereto I 
must begin by acquainting you that Coll. [Ronier] hav- 
ing been a year and a half (as he himself told me) pro- 
viding materials for building a Stone Fort at Albany 
was the week before I landed [on the third of May] gone 
to that place [Albany]. ^ ^ ^ it seems he has been 
very intent upon some Fortifications at Boston ; For 
when he came to me to York he was very desirous to 
go to Boston, Saying he had given the necessary orders 


for all things to be prepared at Albany against next 
Springy and that then he would begin to build but that 
nothing could be done there till then. ^ ^ "^ 

" On the 5th of July I got to Albany, but Mr. Eomer 
was not come [as he had promised], nor no news to be 
heard of him. I went the next day to view the ground 
he had marked out, But I found that for the sake of 
having his Gate " to open on ^' the broadest Street in the 
Town he had carryed the Point of his South West Bas- 
tion into a bottom that was near the old Fort, where " 
he would have to raise the '' foundation of Stone five 
or six and thirty foot high before it would have been 
even with the surface of the ground where the Fort 
must stand. By computation that corner would have 
cost 500£, however I was unwilling to alter any thing of 
his projection till he came, expecting every day he would 
come, till at last on the 8th of August a letter came to a 
man he had intrusted to take care to provide Materials 
for the fort, dated the 29th of June, from Boston, telling 
him that he " should '^not be at Albany till September, 
which is a time which every body here knows to be too 
late for building because of the cold weather. Having 
seen this letter and being informed by some of the In- 
dians that the f rench were making great preparations 
at Montreal which can be designed against no place but 
Albany or Schenectady, And seeing I was not like to 
have Mr. Eomer's Assistance this fall, I thought that it 
was to much time to loose I therefore made another 
draught of my own fort of which I herewith send your 
Lordships a Copy. 

''By this draught I have removed the fort 40 feet 
from the bottom before mentioned, by which I shall save 
that vast expense which the point of this Bastion would 
have cost, and I have extended the Fort more North- 


wards, By which means I shall entirely cover the West 
side of the Town which is that which lies most exposed 
to danger. As soon as I had made my draught I in- 
quired for Masons and found eight which I set to worke. 
On Saturday the 15th of August -^^ ^ -^^ I laid the 
first stone of Fort Anne and in 11 days they worked up 
all the materials that Mr. Romer had been a year and a 
half preparing, besides three hundred load of Stone that 
I had prepared while I was waiting for Coll. Romers 
coming. Thus we were busyed when Mr. Romer ar- 
rived at Albany, which was on the 19 th day of August, 
by which time I had laid the foundation of two thirds 
of the Fort. And I do well hope that before the frost 
it will be five feet high, which will be a good Breast 
Work till next spring. " For the want of money, how- 
ever, the building of the new fort was not prosecuted in 
the following year. In 1704, the old fort was stockaded 
with new palisades as was also the city. ^ 

The board of aldermen, by a resolution offered by the 
mayor, Johannes Schuyler, voted, on the thirtieth of 
May, 1704, that a market-house should be erected in the 
middle of Jonker [State] Street, ^^ opposite to ye lane 
between ye house of Maj. Dirk Wessel's and Evert 
Wendel, Senr. at ye Citty's charges." The residences of 
the persons mentioned in the resolution were on the first 
and second plats of ground immediately west of James 
Street. The building was a wooden structure, open on 
all sides, containing a number of ^butchers' stalls and 
several heavy tables for the use of persons selling but- 
ter, eggs, vegetables, and other produce. The market 
was held on Saturdays. The common council, on the 
fifth of September, 1704, ordered the property-holders 
in the city to lay pavements eight feet wide before their 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. iv. pp. 967-971 ; 1128. 


houses and lots, ''upon penalty of forfeiting the summe 
of 15s for ye Behooffe of ye sheriff e/' who was to sue 
for that amount. 

As a number of negroes had obtained their freedom 
by escaping to Canada, which was regarded as a '' very 
pernicious consequence to the whole province," the jus- 
tices of the peace of the city and county of Albany, at a 
court of sessions held in the city-hall, on the fifth of 
June, 1705, solicited the representatives of the city and 
county to lay before the assembly of the province then 
convened, the necessity of passing a law to protect the 
slave-owners from such loss of property. The request 
was made known, and the assembly enacted ' ' that all 
and every negro slave or slaves belonging to any of the 
inhabitants of the city and county of Albany, who shall 
from and after the first day of August of this present 
year of our Lord, 1705, be found traveling forty miles 
above the city of Albany, at or above a certain place 
called Sarachtoge, unless in company of his, her, or their 
master, mistress, or such employed by them, or either 
of them, and be thereof convicted by the oaths of two or 
more credible witnesses before the court of sessions of 
the peace of this city and county '^ '^ ''' shall suffer 
the pains of death as in cases of felony.'' 

The right granted the city in the charter to purchase 
from the Indians five hundred acres of land at " Schaihte- 
cogue " was exercised on the twenty-eighth day of Feb- 
ruary, 1707. The land is described as situated on the 
east side of the Hudson River, above the Half -moon, and 
bounded on the west by the river, and on the south by 
the lands of Egbert Teunise and Barent Albertse Bratt, 
and extending northward two miles along the river 
from Schaghticoke creek. Thence it extended ''into 
the woods by an east line twelve miles and on the south 


side by a southeast line fourteen miles, or so much 
farther that the line on the east side " included the third 
carrying place on the creek. A part of the first pay- 
ment included two blankets, twelve duffel-cloth coats, 
twenty shirts, two gunns, twelve pounds of powder, 
thirty-six pounds of lead, eight gallons of rum, two 
casks of beer, two rolls of tobacco, ten gallons of Ma- 
deira wine, and a number of pipes. The Indian proprie- 
tors were also to receive annually for ten years in the 
month of October, one blanket, one shirt, one pair of 
stockings, one lap or apron, one keg of rum, three 
pounds of powder, six pounds of lead, and twelve pounds 
of tobacco. Twelve acres of this tract were to be fenced 
by the city and set apart for the use of the Indians sell 
ing the land. In 1708, the land was surveyed and di- 
vided into farms, and some of them leased to a number 
of settlers. Among the latter was Johannes Knicker- 
backer, ^ a miller, who, on the thirteenth of October, 
1709, for the sum of sixteen pounds and ten shillings 
obtained a lease of thirty morgens of land, in two parcels. 
He and each of the other lessees were to pay ^Hhe yearly 
acknowledgement of thirty-seven & one-half bushels 
[of J good merchandable winter wheat unto the mayor, 
aldermen & comonalty in the months of January and 
February every year forever after the first day of May, 
1715." 2 

Lord Cornbury, in his report to the Board of Trade, 
in 1708, speaks thus of certain Indians who came to the 
city from the Far West : " During my stay at Albany, 
12 of the far nations of Indians came to trade with our 

1 Johannes Knickerbacker was the oldest of the seven children of Her- 
man Jansen Knickerbacker, who, it is said, was the first member of the 
Knickerbacker family that emigrated to America. The name ** Knicker- 
bocker " was made notable by Washington Irving, who was a frequent 
guest of the Knickerbackers of Schaghticoke. 

3 Albany records. 1708, 1709. 


people. There are two nations of them who are called 
Twigtwicks and Dionondadees ; the nearest of their 
castles is eight hundred miles from Albany. I have 
been these five years endeavoring to get these nations 
to trade with our people, but the French have always 
dissuaded them from coming till this year. And this 
year goods being very scarce, they came to Albany, 
where our people have supplied them with goods much 
cheaper than ever the French did, and they have prom- 
ised to return in the spring with a much greater number 
of their nations, which will be a very great advantage 
to this province."^ 

In the early part of the summer of 1709, a large 
number of soldiers and Indians was concentrated at 
Albany to invade Canada. The command of the provin- 
cial forces was given to Francis Nicholson. After 
advancing northward as far as Wood Creek, where 
three forts were built, the expedition was abandoned. 
It is said that there was not a man in the province, 
''who had more extended views of the importance of 
driving the French out of Canada than Colonel Schuyler, " 
nor ''did any person more heartily engage in the late 
expedition" than he. Although greatly chagrined when 
the undertaking was relinquished on account of the 
failure of the naval forces to cooperate with the troops 
that marched from Albany, Colonel Schuyler did not 
dismiss from his thoughts the necessity of immediate 
action to accomplish the subjection of Canada to the 
English crown. Taking with him five Indians, he sailed 
to England to urge the British ministry to favor another 

It is related that the arrival of the Indians in Eng- 
land in 1710 " made a great bruit thro' the whole king- 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. v. pp. 64, 65. 


dom. The mob followed wherever they went, and small 
cuts of them were sold among the people. ^- ^ ^ gir 
Charles Cotterel conducted them in two coaches to St. 
James's ; and the lord chamberlain introduced them into 
the royal presence " of Queen Anne. 

Colonel Schuyler succeeded in accomplishing the ob- 
ject of his visit. Five thousand troops from England 
and Flanders were sent to aid the provinces in another 
attempt to reduce Canada. On the thirtieth of July, 
1711, a fleet of twelve men of war and forty -six small 
vessels sailed from Boston to the St. Lawrence Eiver. 
About two thousand men and eight hundred Indians 
were assembled at Albany. At the end of August, Lieu- 
tenant-general Nicholson, having the command of this 
army, moved toward Lake Champlain. The fleet with 
which he was to co-operate in the attack on Montreal, 
having entered the St. Lawrence Eiver, was driven 
during a thick fog upon some rocks. The loss of eight 
transports and eight hundred men caused the com- 
mander of the fleet to order its departure to England. 
When the news of this humiliating termination of the 
naval expedition reach the army at Fort George under 
the command of Lieutenant-general Nicholson, orders 
for an immediate retreat were issued. Thus ended the 
expedition of 1711.^ 

The Church of England with directive zeal sent the 
Eev. Thoroughgood Moor, in 1704, to the province to 
reside among the Mohawk Indians to teach them the 
Christian religion. The fur traders, thinking that his 
teaching might be detrimental to their interests, per- 
sonally exerted their influence to such an extent that 
the members of the nation became adverse to his recep- 
tion into their castles. Having remained ' ' near a twelve- 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. v. pp. 252 556. 


month " in Albany vainly trying to ingratiate himself 
into the favor of the Indians, he, in 1705, returned to 
New York. 

In 1708, the Rev. Thomas Barclay, the chaplain of 
Fort Anne, began to read the service of the Church of 
England and to preach in Dutch to some of the people 
of Albany. In a letter written by him to the secretary 
of the society for the propagation of the gospel in for- 
eign parts, dated the twenty-sixth of September, 1710, 
he speaks of the field of his missionary work in these 
words : 

''As I did begin from my first coming to Albany, so 
I go on to catechise the youth, and it hath pleased God 
to bless my weak endeavors that way, for a great many 
Dutch children, who at my first arrival were altogether 
ignorant of the English tongue, can distinctly say our 
catechism, and make the responses at prayers. Every 
Sunday, after the second lesson at evening prayer, I 
explain some part of the catechism in as plain and 
familiar a manner as I can, shunning all controversies, 
teaching them such fundamental doctrines as are neces- 
sary and tend most to promote piety and a good life. I 
have taught the scholars the prayers appointed for 
charity schools, and I have used all possible methods to 
engage the children to their duty, both by the giving of 
small presents to the most forward and diligent, and by 
frequently visiting their schools ; and for encouraging the 
school-masters, I give them what charity is collected in 
our church, obliging them to bring their scholars to pub- 
lic prayers. 

' 'At Schenectady, I preach once a month, where there 
is a garrison of forty soldiers, besides about sixteen Eng- 
lish and about one hundred Dutch families ; they are all 
of them my constant hearers. I have this summer got 


an English school erected amongst them, and in a short 
time, I hope, their children will be iit for catechising. 
Schenectady is a village situated upon a pleasant river, 
twenty English miles above Albany, and the first castle 
of the Indians is twenty-four miles above Schenectady. 
In this village there has been no Dutch minister these 
five years and there is no possibility of any being settled 
among them. There is a convenient and well built 
church which they freely give me the use of. I have 
taken pains to shew them the agreement of the articles 
of our church with theirs. I hope in some time to bring 
them not only to be constant hearers, but communi- 

^'Mr. Lydius, the minister of the Dutch congregation 
at Albany, died the 1st day of March last. He was a 
good pious man, and lived in entire friendship with me ; 
sent his own children to be catechised. At present there 
is no Dutch minister at Albany, neither is any expected 
'till next summer ; and from New York to the utmost 
bounds of my parish, there is no minister but myself ; 
most of the inhabitants are Dutch, the garrison except- 
ed, which consists of three companies, each company 
one hundred men. In the city and county of Albany 
there are about three thousand souls, besides the gar- 
rison ; in the meantime some of the Dutch children I 
have baptized, and married several, and other parts of 
the service I have performed in the Dutch tongue, and 
more of them would accept my ministry : but that Mr. 
De Bois, a minister of the Dutch congregation of New 
York, comes sometimes to Albany ; he is a hot man, 
and an enemy to our church, but a friend to his purse, 
for he has large contributions from this place. As for 
myself I take no money, and have no kind of perquisite. 
I have used all moderation towards dissenters in this 


country. There is none but those of the Dutch church, 
and I found two only not baptized, the one born in West 
Jersey ^ and bred a Quaker, him I have brought over to 
our church, and christened him the first day of this year ; 
the other is an Old England man, but of a loose life ; so 
soon as I can bring him off from his wicked courses, I 
design to baptize him. 

" Since the death of Mr. Lydius, the Indians have no 
ministers ; there are about thirty communicants, and of 
the Dutch church, but so ignorant and scandalous, that 
they can scarce be reputed Christians. 

^'The sachems of the five nations, viz : of the Mas- 
que, Oneydas, Onnondages, Cayougas, and Senekas, at 
a meeting with our govenor, Col. Hunter, ^ at Albany, 
the 10th [of] August last, when his excellency in his 
speech to them asked them if they were of the same 
mind with those four Indians that had been over with 
Col. Schuyler in desiring missionaries to be sent and 
they answered they were, and desired to have forts built 
among them and a church, and that Mr. Freeman,^ 
present minister of the Dutch congregation at Flatbush, 
near New York, be one of those missionaries which the 
queen promised to send them. This Mr. Freeman, five 
years ago was minister of Schenectady, and converted 
several of the Indians ; he has acquired more skill in 
their language than any Dutch minister that has been 
in this country, and Mr. Dellius is not so well skilled in 
that tongue, a great part of our liturgy he has translated 
into the Indian tongue, in particular [the] morning and 
[the] evening prayer, the litany, the creed of St. Athana- 

1 The province of New Jersey, by a deed of partition, had been divided 
into East and West Jersey. 

2 Colonel Robert Hunter was commissioned governor of the province of 
New York, October 19, lYOQ. 

3 The Rev. Bernardus Freeman. 


sius, &c., besides several places of the Old and New 
Testament. He told me when he read them the litany, 
they were mightily affected with it. He is a gentleman 
of a good temper, and well affected to our church, and 
if there were a bishop in this part of the world, would 
be persuaded to take Episcopal ordination. I often en- 
treat him to go over to England, but he is afraid of the 
danger of the voyage, and his wife will not consent to 
live among the Indians ; he has promised to give me his 
manuscripts, and what he has done into the Indian 

' ' I am sorry to tell you, sir, that I am afraid the 
missionaries that are coming over, will find hard work 
of it, and if the commander of that fort be not a person 
of singular piety and virtue, all their endeavours will 
be ineffectual ; these, here, that trade with them, are 
loath that any religion [should] get any footing among 
them ; besides, these savages are so given to drinking of 
that nasty liquor, rum, that they are lost to all that is 

' ' I must tell you that the Masque, of whom one of 
the four that were lately in England was a Sachem, 
have not above fifty men. All the five nations cannot 
make two thousand, and of these, in number, the Sene- 
kas are near one thousand, and most of them are in the 
French interest. Hendrick, the great prince that was 
so honoured in England, can not command ten men ; 
the other three were not Sachems. How far her majesty 
and the society have been imposed upon, I leave it to 
you to judge. 

' ' I beg leave to tell you, that the missionaries that 
are sent over must have an honorable allowance and 
large presents to give, otherwise they will have but few 
proselytes ; and great care must be taken that they be 


well used, otherwise their mission will prove ineffectual 
as Mr. Moor's, and how he defeated the designs of his 
mission, Col. Schuyler best knows. 

^'I have now worried you with a long letter, and 
shall only add, that I shall be always ready to follow 
the directions of the society, and to endeavour all that 
in me lieth to propagate religion where it is not, and 
cultivate it where it is established." ^ 

By the treaty of Utrecht, made on the thirty-first of 
March, 1713, France and England concluded a peace ; 
the former power engaging not to hinder nor molest the 
five nations of Indians who were subject to the govern- 
ment of Great Britain. 

As the common council thought that it was ' ' very 
necessary and convenient " that a bellman should 
hourly patrol the streets of the city from ten till four 
o'clock each night and to cry the hours and the state 
of the weather, Eobert Barret was appointed city-bell- 
man for one year, from the thirty-first of October, 
1713, and given a salary of twenty-one pounds current 
money. The bellman, according to the resolution of 
the common council, was to be provided during the 
winter with sixtyloads of wood and two candles every 

The congregation of the Eeformed church, after the 
removal of Domine ii^ius, was without a pastor until 
1712 when the Eev. Petrus van Driessen was called to 
take charge of it. The church, which had been ''built 
of timber and boards " in 1656, was so much decayed 
that the pastor, the elders, and the deacons presented, 
in 1714, a petition to Governor Hunter, in which they 
alleged that they found themselves ''under the necessity 
of building a new one in its place," and asked him "to 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 540-542. 


approve and encourage this pious work." ^ The gover- 
nor, on the eighteenth of June, approved of what was 
desired in the petition and recommended the same to all 
who were concerned. In 1715 the work of building the 
stone walls of the new edifice was begun. Meanwhile 
services were held in the old building. When, in October, 
the wood- work of the old structure was to be removed 
they were discontinued for two weeks. On the thirtieth 
of October, the first services were held in the new 
church. The building was consecrated on the thirteenth 
of November, when a large sum of money was con- 
tributed to liquidate the debt incurred for its construc- 
tion. On the tenth of August, 1720, when Colonel Pieter 
Schuyler was president of the provincial council, the 
society was incorporated under the name of the minis- 
ters, elders and deacons of the Eeformed Protestant 
Dutch church in the city of Albany. 

The sittings in the church were sold for thirty shill- 
ings. When the first occupant died, if he were a man, 
the seat descended to his son or the eldest of his sons ; if 
he had no son, to his son-in-law or to one of his sons-in- 
law ; and if he had no son-in-law, then to his brother or to 
one of his brothers. When a transfer was made, the 
successor to the seat was required to pay fifteen shillings 

1 The site of the chureh was thus described in December, 1114: : " The 
Dutch Church Scituate, lying, and being in the said City of Albany, in the 
high street otherwise called the yonkers street nigh the bridge [over the 
Rutten kill] Containing in length on the South side seaven Rodd three foot 
four inches, on the North Side seaven Rood three foot one Inch Rynland 
measure, in breadth on the East and West Side Sixty-one foot and five 
Inches, wood measure." The lot as it was released to the officers of the 
church by the common council in December, 1714, is also described as forty- 
five feet distant from the house of Goose van Schaick, on the east side of 
Handelaars street " to the northeast of yc said ground ; " fifty-five feet from 
the dwelling of Luycas Wyngaert, to the southeast, "both English meas- 
ure ; " the southwest and the northwest corners of the lot being equally dis- 
tant from the house of John van Alen, "on ye south side" of Jonkers 
street, and that of Anna Maria Carstense, "on ye north side" of Jonkers 
street. — City records. 1714. 


for it. If the first occupant of a seat were a woman, it 
descended to her nearest female relative. Every seat- 
holder was required to contribute according to his or her 
means to the support of the minister. Sittings in the 
church were only sold to persons residing in the county 
of Albany. When a seat was not claimed by a successor 
of the former occupant it reverted to the church. ^ 

The missionary work of the Rev. Thomas Barclay 
was so successfully prosecuted that he was enabled to 
organize a church. The need of a suitable building for 
the use of the society was so urgent that he and his ward- 
ens, Peter Mathews and John Dunbar, in May, 1714, peti- 
tioned Governor Hunter to permit them "to collect and 
receive the charity and benevolence of all good Chris- 
tians within the province towards the building of a church 
or chappel for divine service in the center of the broad 
street called Yonkers street, leading from the fifort to the 
water-side, between the end of pearl street & the small 
street [South Pearl Street] that leads to the Lutheran 
Church, not exceeding sixty feet in length and fourty- 
five foot in breadth.'' They mentioned in their petition 
that they had been '' necessitated to make use of a small 
old Chappel" belonging to the Lutheran congregation 
"at unseasonable hours," which building was "worn 
out & decayed." The governor willing granted them the 
necessary license on the thirty-first of May. Being sub- 
sequently advised that a more suitable site for the edifice 
should be selected farther up the street, they on the 
seventh of October requested the governor to permit them 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. p. 546. Albany records. 1714. Coll. on the his- 
tory of Albany. Munsell. vol. i. pp. 56, 51, 61, 18. 

The officers of the Reformed Protestant church obtained from the city, 
on the sixteenth of November, 1'715, "a release for eight feet of ground in 
breadth on the south of the great door of the church and so much in lerigth 
eastward " as was "thought convenient for a porch to be built thereon." — 
Albany records. 1'715. 


to build the chapel nearer to the fort where the street 
was wider, and to make use of a space ninety feet long 
and sixty wide, '' between the houses of Stephanus Groes- 
beck, on the north side, and the house of Abraham Cuyler, 
on the south side, not to extend further east than the 
east end of [the] s^ houses and thence to stretch westerly 
Ninety foot in the same breadth of sixty foot equally 
distant from [the] s^ houses/' A part of this plot of 
ground was to be used for a cemetery. Grovernor Hunter 
consented, and by letters-patent granted the use of the 
described plot for these purposes, on the twenty-first of 
October, 1714. 

When the members of the common council were in- 
formed, on the eighth of November, that the Rev. 
Thomas Barclay, Colonel Peter Mathews, and John Dun- 
bar had that day '4ayd out some ground on ye west end 
of ye Jonker street ^ ^" '^ for erecting & building a 
church without haveing any title " from the city, they re- 
solved that the former persons should be advised to delay 
the building of the church until the mayor, Robert Liv- 
ingston, jr., should return to the city. This action of the 
board of aldermen appears to have been taken to ascertain 
whether or not the ground granted by Governor Hunter 
was not the property of the city. Although the clergy- 
man and his vestrymen were notified to suspend the 
laying of the foundation of the projected building, it 
seems that they did not comply with the request of the 
common council but permitted the work to be continued. 
Perceiving that it was not delayed, the board of aldermen 
resolved on the third of March, 1715, that a letter should 
be written to the governor respecting the city's title to 
the ground. In their communication, the members of the 
common council adverted to the fact that the ground in 
question belonged to the city and was included in the 


charter. ''It seems to us, on their side, either as an in- 
croachment on ye rights of ye s^ city or a disregard to 
ye Comonalty, however to shew that we are not against 
that pious design but reather to promite we have offered 
them a more conveinent lott, and are still willing to grant 
the same altho' they have refused to accept it ; now to 
prevent any further trouble we apply to your Excellency 
that your Excellency will be pleased to signify to them 
such remedy whereby the matter may be reasonably ac- 

Apparently the governor could not be induced to ab- 
rogate the grant to the officers of the English church, 
and therefore the common council resolved, on the eighth 
of April, to maintain and defend the rights and liberties 
of the city and to prosecute the Rev. Thomas Barclay, 
Colonel Peter Matthews, and John Dunbar as far as the 
law would permit, for occupying and encroaching upon 
ground belonging to the city. The men laying the foun- 
dation were enjoined from proceeding with the work, 
but they disregarded the prohibition and were arrested 
for trespassing on land owned by the city. However, 
having procured the required bail, they continued their 
work on the foundation of the edifice. This public dis- 
regard of the rights of the city caused the common coun- 
cil to resolve to send a messenger by express in a canoe 
to New York "for advice from two attorneys at law 
concerning ye trespass ^ "^' '^ committed by several 
persons in laying a foundation on a certain lott of ground 
on ye west end of ye Joncker street." 

The attempt of the city authorities to retain possession 
of the space in Jonker street, granted to the officers of 
the English church by Governor Hunter, was ineffectual, 
and the zealous clergyman and his earnest co-workers 
were permitted to accomplish the building of the edifice 


in 1716, which was a stone structure fifty-eight feet long 
and forty-two wide. In November, the first services in the 
church were attended by a large number of the officers 
and soldiers of Fort Anne and many people of the city, 
besides those who were communicants of the society. ^ 

In 1714 there were living in the three wards of the 
city eleven hundred and thirty-six people. Of this num- 
ber four hundred and ninety-five were white males, five 
hundred and twenty-eight white females, forty-seven 
male slaves, and sixty-six female slaves. The inhabi- 
tants of the county of Albany numbered three thousand 
and twenty-nine, four hundred and fifty-eight of whom 
were slaves. In 1 723 the number of the inhabitants of 
the county had increased to six thousand five hundred 
and one. 

The need of a school-teacher to instruct the children 
in the city is thus expressed in a resolution of the com- 
mon council of the eighth of April, 1721 : ^'Whereas it 
is very requisite & necessary that a fitt and able school 
master settle in this city for teaching and instructing of 
the youth in speling, reading, writeing and cyffering and 
Mr. Johannis Grlandorf haveing offered his service to setle 
here and keep a school if reasonably encourage by ye 
Corporation, it is therefore Resolved by this Comonalty 
and they do hereby oblidge themselves and their succes- 
sors to give and procure unto ye said Johan's Grlandorf 
free house rent for the term of seaven years next ensue- 
ing for keeping a good and commendable school as be- 
comes a diligent Schoolmaster." 

^ Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 546, 541. Albany records. 1714, 1715. 
Coll. on hist, of Albany. Munsell. vol. i. pp. 388, 389. 




None of the governors of the provmce had so much 
personal sympathy for the degraded liquor-drinking In- 
dians of the five nations as Governor William Burnet. ^ 
In his conference with the Mahikanders or River In- 
dians at Albany, on the thirtieth of August, 1722, he 
spoke to them of the evil effects of rum-drinking, say- 
ing : 

'^I need not tell you how destructive your intemper- 
ance has proved and how much your people are dimin- 
ished by excessive drinking of rum, the women as well 
as the men being guilty of being often drunk ; let me 
advise you to be more sober for the future, and not to 
spend what you get by Hunting on strong drink, but 
lay it out on clothing and other necessaries for your 
support, and above all [do] not squander your Indian 
Corn for Rum which you ought to keep for your subsis- 
tence all the year." 

The Indians palliated their love of strong liquor, say- 
ing : ^'^ We are sensible that you are much in the right 
that rum does a great deal of harm. We approve of all 
that you said on that point, but the truth is this : When 

1 He began his administration as governor of the province on the seven- 
teenth of September, 1120. 


our people come from hunting to the town or to the 
plantations and acquaint the traders and people that we 
want powder, shot^ and clothing, they first give us a 
large cup of rum, and after we get the taste of it we 
crave for more so that at last all the beaver and peltry 
we have hunted goes for drink, and v^e are left destitute 
either of clothing or ammunition ; therefore we desire 
our father to order the tap or crane to be shut and to 
prohibit the selling of rum, for as long as the Christians 
will sell rum, our people will drink it. "^ ^' '^ 

^^ We acknowledge that our father is very much in 
the right to tell us that we squander away our Indian 
corn which should subsist our wives and children, but 
one great cause of it is that many of our people are 
obliged to hire land of the Christians at a very dear rate 
and to give half the corn for rent, and the other half 
they are tempted by rum to sell, and the corn goes so 
that the poor women and children are left to shift as 
well as they can. ^ -^ "^ 

" We have no more land. The Christians when they 
buy a small spot of land ask us if we have no more 
land. When we say yes, they wish to know the name 
of it, and take a greater quantity than was to be sold to 
them, and the Indians not understanding what is writ- 
ten in the deed or bill of sale^ sign it and are thus de- 
prived of part of their lands." ^ 

Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia^ and Sir 
William Keith, governor of Penns3ivania, also in the 
latter part of August and in the beginning of Septem- 
ber, 1722^ held conferences with the sachems of the five 
nations, in Albany, and renewed the former covenants 
made with the chiefs of their tribes. 

Writing to the Lords of Trade on the twenty-fifth of 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. v. pp. 662, 663. 


June, 1723, Governor Burnet thus speaks of the success 
attending his efforts to induce the Indians of the far 
west to come to Albany with their peltry: " Last spring 
there came about twenty far Indians to Albany, and 
this month about eighty, besides women and children, 
which they commonly bring with them where ever 
they go. I have sent your Lordships a minute of all 
their Proceedings at Albany, by which it appears that 
they are now incorporated with the five nations, who 
had before admitted the Tuskarores [Tuscaroras] to 
make a sixth nation, and now this far Nation has been 
received as a seventh. They are come above a thous- 
and miles to Albany from Mislimakenak, [or Michili- 
mackinac,] which lyes between Lac Superieur and Lac 
Huron. ^ ^ -jf ^ 

''I have since intelligence of forty or fifty more far 
Indians who are coming to Albany to trade, and thus I 
find the fruits of the Act restraining the Trade to 
Canada and of the Company whom I have kept in the 
Sinnekees Country whose business it has been to persuade 
all the Indians that pass by to come rather to trade at 
Albany than at Montreal, and as the Indians that come 
from the remote Lakes to go to Canada are commonly in 
want of Provisions when they come below the falls of 
Niagara, they are obliged to supply themselves in the 
Sinnekees Country where our people are and then they 
may take their choice where they will go and trade, 
which considering the experience they have now had 
of the cheapness of Goods in this Province, we need not 
fear will be universally in our favor, and I now flatter 
myself that the most difficult part is over, since the very 
Traders of Albany who were fond of Trading to Canada, 

1 Michilimackinac, now Mackinaw, on an island in the strait of Mac- 
kinaw connecting lakes Michigan and Huron. 


generally confess their error and that since the remote 
Indians will come to them they ought not to have that 
Trade with the French, which they may keep wholly to 
themselves." ^ 

To protect the Indians, coming to Albany to sell their 
peltry, from the traders who gave them liquor to obtain 
their furs at low prices, Governor Burnet proposed to 
the municipal authorities the building of a number of 
houses outside the palisades for the use of the Indians. 
The buildings were erected conformable to the gov- 
ernor's suggestion, and an act was passed by the pro- 
vincial assembly for paying the charges for their con- 
struction. The governor, in his letter to the Lords of 
Trade, dated the sixteenth of December, 1723, thus ad- 
verts to the passage of the act for the liquidation of the 
debt contracted for the erection of these wooden houses : 
' ' This is a conveniency for the Indians that is newly 
made and is very useful to prevent their being cheated 
as they often are when traders get them privately into 
their houses and by the power of liquor persuade them to 
part with their furs for little or nothing. But when the 
Indians come to themselves, they grow very angry at 
their usage, and this often makes them very unruly and 
frequently endangers their good understanding with us. 

''To prevent this, these houses are built, where they 
trade publickly and so are more equally dealt with." 

In another letter, written on the twenty -first of No- 
vember, 1724, the governor observes '' that by the near- 
est computation there were from the year 1716 to 1720 
but 30 canoes of far Indians that came " to Schenectady 
on their way to Albany, ''and from 1720 to 1724 there 
are come 323, which is above ten times the number." ^ 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. v. pp. 684, 685. 

2 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. v. pp. 701, 739. 


The following description of the situation of the vil- 
lages and lands of the Indians of the six nations in 1724 
shows how advantageously Albany was located to con- 
trol the fur trade : " The Mohawks, (called Annies by 
the French,) one of the Five Nations, live on the South 
Side of a Branch of Hudson's Eiver, (not on the North 
Side as they are placed in the French Maps,) and but 
forty Miles directly West from Albany, and within the 
English settlements ; some of the English Farms upon 
the same Eiver being thirty Miles further West. The 
Oneydas (the next of the Five Nations)^ lie likewise 
West from Albany, near the Head of the Mohawks 
Eiver, about one hundred Miles from Albany. The 
Onondagas lie about one hundred and thirty Miles West 
from Albany ; and the Tuscaroras ■^' live partly with the 
Oneydas and partly with the Onondagas. The Cayugas 
are about one hundred and sixty Miles from Albany ; 
and the Senecas (the furthest of all these Nations, are 
not above two hundred and forty Miles from Albany, as 
may appear from Mr. De L'Isle's Map of Louisania, ^ 
who lays down the Five Nations under the Name of 
Iroquois.'' ^ 

The population of Albany County, which in 1723 was 
six thousand five hundred and one, was in 1731 eight 
thousand seven hundred and three. During this period 
the number of slaves had increased from eight hundred 
and eight to twelve hundred and twenty -two. 

In June 1731, by a resolution of the common council, 
the inhabitants of the first and second wards were per- 
mitted to erect a market-house in each of them. 

On the sixth of November, 1731, the municipal 
authorities published an ordinance, which appears to be 

1 The Tuscaroras had come in 1722 from the UpperPotomac in Virginia. 

2 Map of Louisiana by M. de LTsle. Paris, 1V18. 

3 History of N. Y. Smith, p. IS*?. 


the first step taken to organize a fire-department for the 
city. The following persons were designated as fire- 
masters : Isaac Fryer and Egbert Egbertse, in the first 
ward ; Matheys van der Heyden and Frans Pruyn, in 
the second ward ; Wilhelmus van den Berg and Matheys 
de Garmo, in the third ward. At a meeting of the com- 
mon council on the twenty-second of December, the pur- 
chase of a fire engine was discussed. It was then re- 
solved 'Hhat an Enguin or Water Sjjuyt be sent for to 
England per the first oppertunity in the Spring." On 
the twenty-ninth of February 1732, it was further de- 
termined that a letter should be written to Stephen D. 
Lancey, a merchant of New York, requesting him to 
procure a suction water-engine '^ of the fifth sort," made 
by Richard Newsham, and a sucking pipe six feet long, 
besides forty feet of leather hose with brass screws. On 
the delivery of the engine at New York, the board of 
aldermen promised to pay Stephen D. Lancey or his 
order the same sum that the corporation of the city of 
New York had '^paid for their Engines, (that is to say) 
at the rate of 12 per cent, on the foot of the Invoice 
including the prime cost." When the engine was de- 
livered to the authorities and placed in a building in the 
central part of the city, they advertised that the key of 
the engine-house could be obtained from Henry Cuyler, 
who resided near by it. ^ 

' ' The quantity of one Thousand Acres of Low or 
Meadow Land, lyeing att a certeyn place called or 
known by the name of Tionondorogue, " granted to the 
city in the charter of 1686, was in 1730 still in possession 
of the Indians. To make good the city's title to it^, the 
common council, on the tenth of October, resolved that 
John de Peyster, mayor, Dirck Ten Broeck, re- 

J Albany records, ITSI, 1'732, 1734. 


corder, Ryer Gerritse, Jacob Lansing, and Cornelius 
Cuyler, aldermen, and John Vischer, jr., an assistant 
alderman, should go as a committee to the Mohawk 
country and have full power to act and agree with 
the Indian proprietors for the purchase of the said land. 
The committee performed this duty and obtained from 
the Indians, a deed, bearing the date of the twelfth of 
October, 1730, '^for the flatts on both sides of Tinnon- 
doroges Creek or River." ^ 

It appears that the Indians did not understand at 
that time that the conveyance which they had been 
induced to sign deprived them forever of their proprietor- 
ship of the land. When they at last became aware of 
their misconception they sought a conference with 
Governor Cosby, in Albany, in September, 1TB3, to 
obtain " redress of a gross deceit and injury done them 
by the Corporation of Albany." The interview of the 
Mohawk sachems the governor describes in a letter 
written by him to the Lords of Trade, on the fifteenth 
of December, 1783. ^ 

^'I gave them to understand that I was ready to 
hear, and to relieve them. They then said that they 
were the natural owners and proprietors of that part of 
the Mohock's Country where they lived, ^' ^ '^ that 
^ ^ '^ the Mayor and some others of the corporation 
of Albany did about a year or two ago, insinuate to them 
that Govr Montgomerie had in his lifetime an intention 
to take their lands from them and that possibly some 
future Govr might pursue the same intentions, that 
there was but one way to secure their lands to them 
from such attempts, which was to make them over to 
the Corporation in trust for them, and that then the 

1 Schoharie Creek, in Montgomery County. 

3 William Cosby began his administration as governor of the provinces 
of New York and New Jersey, August 1, 1732. 


Corporation would withstand all such attempts, and 
preserve their lands to them so long as they thought 
fit to continue them their trustees, that being thus pos- 
sessed with the fear of loseing their lands they did con- 
sent to make them over to the Corporation in trust for 
such time only, as they should think fit, and accordingly 
executed a deed to that effect as they supposed and were 
told that the Corporation promised them a counterpart 
or copy of that deed but never gave it them ; that 
some time after the execution of that deed they were 
informed that it was not a deed of trust but an absolute 
conveyance of a thousand acres of low or meadow- 
ground at a place called Tiononderoga, being their best 
planting ground. Full of resentment at the fraud they 
resolved to apply themselves to me and earnestly de- 
sired that the Mayor might be ordered to bring the deed, 
and that it might be read and interpreted to them. 

''I sent for the Mayor, desiring him to bring the 
deed, he did so, and it being read and interpreted to the 
Sachims, they cryed out with one voice that they were 
cheated and that the deed was imposed upon them for a 
deed of trust and vowed that as long as there should be 
one Mohock living, the people of Albany should never 
have a foot of that land, declaring that if they had no 
redress they would leave their Country, and go over to 
the French, and begged to have the deed delivered up to 

" I inquired if the Corporation had paid or given the 
Mohocks any consideration in money or goods for it, 
^ ^ ^ but not finding that they [ the people of Al- 
bany] had given them any thing, the Mohocks persisting 
strenuously in their demand of having the deed delivered 
up to them, and the fraud being too evident, I gave the 
deed into the hands of the Sachims, who first with great 


rage tore it in pieces and then threw it into the fire^ de- 
claring again that as long as one Mohock lived the peo- 
ple of Albany should never have a foot of that land, and 
then thanked me for the justice I did them." ^ 

The arbitrary act of Governor Cosby in giving to 
the Indians the document that he had promised should 
be safely returned to the person from whom he had ob- 
tained it made the people of the city very indignant 
toward the governor. The board of aldermen, acting 
under the advice of several attorneys-at-law, gave a deed 
to Peter Brower in November, 1734, for a tract of land, 
which was a part of that granted to the city by Gover- 
nor Dongan in 1686, lying on the south side of the Mo- 
hawk River, at Fort Hunter, and on both sides of 
Schoharie Cieek, or Tinnondoroges Creek, as it was then 

The work on the stone-fort, the foundation of which 
Lord Cornbury had laid in 17()B, was resumed in 1735, 
and prosecuted with such enterprise that it was soon 

The congregation of the English church, unable to re- 
tain the Rev. Thomas Barclay after the society for the 
propaga^-ion of the gospel in foreign parts withdrew its 
allowance for his support shortly after the erection of 
the chapel, w^as without a pastor until 1728, when the 
Rev. Mr. Miln took charge of it. In 1738, the Rev. Henry 
Barclay, the son of the Rev. Thomas Barclay, a native 
of Albany, and a graduate of Yale College, became his 

The Rev. Petrus van Driessen continued to serve the 
members of the Reformed Protestant church until his 
death about the first of February, 1738, when the Rev. 
Cornells van Schie, who had been his colleague since 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. v. pp. 960, 977. 


1733, succeeded him as pastor of its large congrega- 

The pecuhar geographical position of the city of Al- 
bany gave it many advantages by which it could com- 
mand the Indian trade of the greater part of the country 
from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. Cadwal- 
lader Golden, the surveyor-general of the province, thus 
pertinently spoke of the different water-ways from it, 
in 1738: '^From the Eastern Branch [of the Hudson 
Eiver] there is only fa] land Garriage of Sixteen miles to 
the Wood Greek, or to Lake St. Sacrament, [Lake 
George,] both of which fall into Lake Ghamplain, from 
whence Goods are transported to Quebec. But the Ghief 
advantages are from the western Branch of Hudson's 
Eiver. At 50 miles from Albany, the Land Garriage 
from the Mohawks river to a lake from whence the 
Northern Branch of [the] Susquehana takes its rise, does 
not exceed 14 miles. Goods may be carried from this 
lake in Battoes [bateux] or flatt bottomed Vessels 
through Pennsylvania, to Maryland & Virginia, the cur- 
rent of the river running every where easy, without any 
cataract in all that large space. In going down this 
Eiver two large branches of the same Eiver are met, 
which come from the westward, & issue from the long 
ridge of mountains, which stretch along behind Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland, Virginia & Garolina, commonly 
called the Apalachy Mountains. By either of these Bran- 
ches Goods may be carried to the Mountain, & I am told 
that the passage through the Mountains to the Branches 
of the Misissippi, which issue from the West side of 
these Mountains, is neither long nor difficult ; by which 
means an Inland Navigation may be made to the Bay 
of Mexico. 

" From the Head of the Mohawks Eiver there is like- 


wise a short land Carriage of four miles only, to a Creek 
of the Oneida lake, which empties itself into Cadarackui 
[Ontario] Lake at Oswego ; and the Cadarackui Lake, 
heing truely an Inland Sea, of greater breadth than can 
be seen by the eye, communicates with Lake Erie, the 
Lake of the Hurons, Lake Michigan, and the Upper 
lake, [Lake Superior,] all of them Inland Seas. By 
means of these Lakes^ & the Rivers which fall into 
them, Commerce may be carried from New York, 
through a vast Tract of Land, more easily than from 
any other Maritime Town in North America." ^ 

The common council on the thirteenth of May, 
1740, ordered an engine-house to be built. In 1743, 
Robert Lansingh, Bernardus Hartsen and Michael Basset, 
were appointed by the common council to take charge 
of the fire-engine in case of fire, and always to be ready 
upon any occasion that the engine might be wanted. 
They were each to make a key to open the lock of the 
shed in which the engine stood and to place the keys in 
some parts of their houses where the keys might be 
found when they were absent. For their services, they 
were each to receive annually sij^ schepels of wheat. 

In 1741, an act was passed by the assembly to enable 
the city and county of Albany to build a new court- 
house and gaol. In the three wards of the city in 1742 
there were two hundred and four freeholdei's. 

In 1743, the common council contracted with Anthony 
Bratt to remove the block-house, near the city-hall, to 
where the powder-house stood on the plain, on the south 
side of the city. He was '' to put it up there, to find all 
the materials necessary, to mason the stone of the 
foundation above the ground with lime, to put a new 
roof of squared white pine boards " on the building, 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iv. p. 112. 


' ' to mason the pipe of the chimney above the house 
with hme and to make it of hard bricks, and to make 
draws before the port-holes below, and to finish it all 
compleat/' for thirteen pounds four shillings. ^ 

The news of the declaration of war between England 
and France was received, in June, 174-1-, by the people 
of Albany with no little apprehension that the frontier 
would again become the scene of many ruthless acts 
of savage warfare. Governor George Clinton, in his con- 
ference with the sachems of the six nations, on the 
eighteenth of June, recommended them to be wary of 
the treacherous French, and reminded them of the evils 
that had befallen them when their enemy burnt their 
castles and carried their people into captivity. 

Writing to the Lords of Trade in November 1745, 
the governor adverts to a project he had laid before the 
provincial assembly : ^' I have been endeavoring to set 
on foot a scheme and to engage the Province therein for 
the reduction of a Fort at Crown point possessed by the 
French in the Indian Country, which is a very great an- 
noyance to our Frontiers, and had in pursuance thereof 
sent up to Albany six pieces of Cannon of 18 pounders 
with carriages, and a proportion of powder. Ball, Match 
and other Implements. It is well they are gone, for to 
my great concern (and what I have represented to the 
Assembly would be our Fate), I received an Account the 
19th inst., by express from Albany, that a party of 
French and their Indians had cut off a settlement in this 
province called Saratoge, about fifty miles from Albany, 
and that about twenty houses with a Fort, (which the 
publick would not repair) were burned to ashes, thirty 
persons killed and scalped, and about sixty taken 
prisoners. ^ "'" * 

1 Albany records, 1Y40, IHI, 1742, 1H3. 


^^ In the mean time I have done every thmg m my 
power for His Majesty's [George H.] service, and have 
detached two of His Majty's Company's of Fuzileers to 
Albany, and given orders to march detachments of the 
Mihtia as a further security to that City. I have also 
given orders to the Six Nations of Indians to take up the 
hatchet against the Enemy immediately." 

The terrifying deeds of the enemy filled Albany with 
refugees. The people living in the vicinity of the burned 
settlement at old Saratoga (now Schuylerville) left their 
homes and f)assed the winter in the city. To lodge the 
soldiers quartered in the city for its defence the three 
market-houses were converted into barracks, each hav- 
ing ^^ double chimneys in the middle." 

Governor Clinton, to retain the Indians of the six 
nations in the service of Great Britain, held several con- 
ferences with their sachems in August and September 
1746. At this time, Colonel William Johnson held the 
office of Indian agent. William Dunlap, in his history 
of New York, describing the arrival of the Indians at 
Albany, says : 

'' When the Indians came near the town of Albany, 
on the 8th of August, Mr. Johnson put himself at the 
head of the Mohawks, dressed and painted as an Indian 
warcaptain. The Indians followed him painted for 
war. As they passed the fort, they saluted by a run- 
ning fire, which the governor answered by cannon. The 
chiefs were afterwards received in the fort-hall, and 
treated to wine. A good deal of private manoeuvering 
with the individual sachems was found necessary to 
make them declare for war with France before a public 
council was held. After the governor's speech was ar- 
ranged, he fell ill ; and to prevent delay, Mr. Colden 
was appointed to speak, ^ ^ ^^ 


'^ The Iroquois took to the 23d of the month for de- 
Hberation, and then answered, — the governor being 
present. They agreed to join in the war generally 
against the French ; and add, that they take in the 
Messesagues ^ as a seventh nation. — These, I call the 
Mackinaws, from their situation. '^' "^^ '^' The Indians 
being sick ^ and expensive, Clinton dismissed them, 
ordering Johnson to send out parties from Schenectady, 
and from his own settlement, near the lower Mohawk 
castle, to harrass the French of Canada." 

''On the fifth of September, a party of sixty Sus- 
quehanna Indians came to Albany, and had a conference 
with Governor Clinton. A sergeant of one of the mili- 
tary companies having been killed near the city by a 
member of an Indian scouting party from Canada, the 
Susquehanna Indians and a number of soldiers were 
sent out to discover the force of the enemy. The latter 
were not overtaken and the reconnoitering party re- 
turned to the city. So many of the Indians were at- 
tacked with the prevailing malignant disease and so 
many of them died, that those who were well could not 
be induced to engage actively in an attack upon the 
settlements along the border of Canada. It is related 
that when the Mohawks were solicited by Colonel 

1 "There is a nation called the Messissagas whose delegates are here 
present. They consist of five castles containing eight hundred men who are 
all determined and do agree to join us in this common cause against our 
enemies the French and their Indians." Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. 
p. 3li8. 

2 The epidemic which spread among the people of Albany, the soldiers, 
and the Indians was thought by some to be yellow fever. It is said that 
"the bodies of some of the patients were yellow — the crisis of the disease 
was the ninth day ; if the patient survived that day he had a good chance of 
recovery. The disease left many in a state of imbecility of mind, approach- 
ing to childishness or idiocy ; others were afterwards troubled with swelled 
legs. The disease began in August and ended with frost, carried off forty- 
five inhabitants, mostly men of robust bodies." Albany annals. Munsell. 
vol, iii. p. 204. 


Johnson to go with him on a scouting expedition, one 
of them said : " You seem to think that we are brutes, 
that we have no sense of the loss of our dearest relations, 
and some of them the bravest we had in our nation. 
You must allow us to go home to bewail our misfor- 
tunes." ^ 

In September, five companies of soldiers Avere sent 
to Albany by the governor for its defence during the 
winter. These soldiers were for the most part quartered 
in the eight block-houses. The common council ordered 
that "in case of any alarm in the night,'' that all the 
house-holders should set candles in their windows to 
give light to the men repairing to their posts. While 
the frontier in 1747 was guarded by detachments from 
companies of soldiers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, 
and the other provinces, considerable disaffection existed 
among the troops on account of their not receiving any 
pay for their services. Some of the companies mani- 
fested such a mutinous spirit that it was with difficulty 
that they were kept from disbanding. Governor Clin- 
ton, in a letter to the duke of Newcastle, written on the 
twenty-third of July, from New York, adverts to the 
disaffection among the soldiers, saying : 

'^ I am this day arrived from Albany. '^ ^^ ^ I was 
in great hopes the -iOs advance, and 2()s a month each 
man, would have satisfied them, as was expected ; but 
Coll. Schuyler, who commands the New Jersey forces, 
having paid his men their whole pay then due them, & 
the people of Albany, some out of a malicious si)irit, 
others in hopes of the profit they would receive by the 
men receiving their pay while they remained at that 
place, instigated them to mutiny unless they had their 
whole pay ; and for that purpose insinuated to them, 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. pp. 288, 317-326. Albany records, 
1H5. History of New York. Dunlap. vol. i. pp. 358, 359, 360. 


that I, or their officers had received money for their 
whole pay, & that they were defrauded of it. Upon this 
the mutiny, became almost universal. As these troops 
had been kept on the frontiers for the defence of it, the 
Province must inevitably be exposed to the greatest 
dangers from the enemy if these troops should be suf- 
fered to disband, as well as to plunderings & other mis- 
chiefs from mutinous soldiers. I apply ed to the Assem- 
bly for assistance on this occasion ; but what an indecent 
refusal I received from them will appear from their an- 
swer. ^ -^ ^ I was then reduced to draw bills for the 
whole payment of the forces at Albany. ^ ^ ^^ 

''Coll. Johnson, whom I have employed as Chief 
Manager of the Indian War and Colonel over all the In- 
dians, by their own approbation, has sent several parties 
of Indians into Canada, & brought back at several times 
prisoners & scalps, but the expedition being laid aside 
last year, the Indians were discouraged and began to 
entertain jealousies, by which a new expence became 
necessary to remove those jealousies & to bring them 
back to their former tempers ; but unless some enter- 
prize be undertaken which may keep up their spirits, 
we may again lose them.'' ^ 

The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, in October, 1748, 
brought peace to the disheartened and impoverished 
people of the city. The disapperance of the clouds of 
war permitted them to return to their former occupa- 
tions with renewed zeal and hope. The resumed activi- 
ties of the people are graphically portrayed by Peter 
Kalm, a Swedish naturalist, who, in 1749, visited Al- 
bany to collect seeds and plants for the university of 
Upsala, Sweden. The following exceri^ta from his jour- 
nal present, no doubt, some very authoritative informa- 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. pp. 357, 358. 


tion respecting the character and manners of the people 
of Albany, of whose personal traits and modes of life he 
seems to have been a close observer : 

'^ At noon [the tenth of June], we left New York, 
and sailed up the River Hudson, in a yacht bound for 
Albany. All this afternoon we saw a whole fleet of 
little boats returning from New York, whither they had 
brought provisions and other goods for sale. ^ ^ ^ 
All the yachts which ply between Albany and New 
York^ belong to Albany. '^ ^ ^ They bring from 
Albany boards or planks, and all sorts of timber, flour, 
pease, and furs, which they get from the Indians or 
which are smuggled from the French. They come home 
almost empty, and only bring a few merchandises with 
them, among which rum is the chief. '^' ^ ^ The 
yachts are pretty large, and have a good cabin, in which 
the passengers can be very commodiously lodged. They 
are commonly built of red cedar, or of white oak. -^ ^ -^ 
^^The canoes, which the yachts have along with 
them, are made with a single piece of wood, hollowed 
out ; they are sharp on both ends, frequently three or 
four fathoms long, ^ and as broad as the thickness of 
the wood will allow. The people in it do not row sit- 
ting, but commonly a fellow stands at one end, with a 
short oar in his hand, with which he governs and brings 
the canoe forward. Those which are made here at 
Albany are commonly of white pine : they can do ser- 
vice for eight or twelve years, especially if they be tarred 
and painted. ^ '^ ^ There are no seats in the canoes ; 
for if they had any, they would be more liable to be 
overset, as one could not keep the equilibrium so well. 

''Bat toes are another kind of boats, which are much 
in use at Albany. They are made of boards of white 

1 A fathom is a measure of six feet. 


pine. The bottom is flat, that they may row the better 
in shallow water : they are sharp at both ends^ and 
somewhat higher towards the end than in the middle. 
They have seats in them, and are rowed as common 
boats. They are long, yet not all alike : commonly 
three, and sometimes four fathoms long. The height 
from the bottom to the top of the board (for the sides 
stand almost perpendicular), is from twenty inches to 
two feet, and the breadth in the middle about a yard and 
six inches. They are chiefly made use of for carrying 
goods, by means of the rivers to the Indians ; that is, 
when those rivers are open enough for the battoes to pass 
through, and when they need not be carried by land a 
great way. "'' * '^' 

' ' They sow wheat in the neighborhood of Albany 
with great advantage. From one bushel they get twelve 
sometimes : if the soil be good they get twenty bushels. 
If their crop amounts only to ten bushels from one, they 
think it very trifling. ^ ^' ^ The wheat-flour from 
Albany is reckoned the best in all North America, except 
that from Sopus or Kingston, a place between Albany 
and New York. All the bread in Albany is made of 
wheat. At New York they pay the Albany flour with 
several shillings more per hundred weight than that from 
other places. 

' ' They are unacquainted with stoves, and their chim- 
neys are so wide that one could drive [through] them with 
a cart and horses. The water of several wells in this 
town was very cool about this time, but had a kind of acid 
taste which was not very agreeable. ^ '^' "^ I think 
this water is not very wholesome for people who are not 
used to it, though the inhabitants of Albany who drink 
it every day, say that they do not feel the least inconven- 
ience from it. '' "" '^' Almost every house in Albany 



has its well, the water of which is applied to common 
use ; but for tea, brewing, and washing, they commonly 
take the water of the river. '^ '^ '^ 

''There are two churches in Albany, an English one 
and a Dutch one. The Dutch church stands at some 
distance from the river, on the east side of the market. 
It is built of stone ; and in the middle it has a small 
steeple^ with a bell. It has but one minister, who 
preaches twice every Sunday. The English church is 
situated on the hill, at the west end of the market, di- 
rectly under the fort. It is likewise built of stone, but 
has no steeple. There was no service at this time because 
they had no minister ; and all the people understood 
Dutch, the garrison excepted. The minister of this 
church has a settled income of one hundred pounds ster- 
ling, w^hich he gets from England. The town-hall lies 
to the southward of the Dutch church, close by the river- 
side. It is a fine building of stone, three stories high. 
It has a small tower or steeple with a bell, and a gilt ball 
and vane at the top of it. 

" The houses in this town are very neat^ and partly 
built with stones covered with shingles of the White 
Pine. Some are slated with tiles from Holland, because 
the clay of this neighborhood is not reckoned fit for tiles. 
Most of the houses are built in the old way, with the 
gable-end towards the street ; a few excepted, which 
were lately built in the manner now used. A great 
number of houses were built like those of New Brans 
wick, [New Jersey], which I have described ; the gable- 
end being built towards the streets of brick and all the 
other walls of planks. '^" " '" The gutters on the roofs 
reach almost to the middle of the street. This preserves 
the walls from being damaged by the rain ; but is ex- 
tremely disagreeable in rainy weather for the people in 


the streets, there being hardly any means of avoiding the 
water from the gutters. 

'' The street-doors are generally in the middle of the 
houses ; and on both sides are seats, on which, during 
fair weather, the people spend almost the whole day, es- 
pecially on those which are in the shadow of the houses. 
In the evening these seats are covered w^ith people of 
both sexes ; but this is rather troublesome, as those who 
pass by are obliged to greet every body, unless they will 
shock the politeness of the inhabitants of this town. The 
streets are broad, and some of them are paved ; in some 
parts they are lined with trees : the long streets are 
almost parallel to the river, and the others intersect them 
at right angles. The street which goes between the 
two churches is five times broader than the others, 
and serves as a market-place. The streets upon the 
whole are very dirty, because the people leave their 
cattle in them during the summer nights. There are two 
market-places in the town, to which the country people 
resort twice a week. 

^'The fort lies higher than any other building, on a 
high steep hill on the west side of the town. It is a great 
building of stone, surrounded with high and thick walls. 
Its situation is very bad, as it can only serve to keep off 
plundering parties, without being able to sustain a seige. 
There are numerous high hills to the west of the fort, 
which command it, and from whence one may see all 
that is done within it. There is commonly an officer and 
a number of soldiers quartei*ed in it. They say the fort 
contains a spring of water. 

^'The situation of Albany is very advantageous in 
regard to trade. The river Hudson, which flows close 
by it, is from twelve to twenty feet deep. There is not 
yet any quay made for the better lading of the yachts, 


because the people feared it would suffer greatly or be 
entirely carried away in spring by the ice, which then 
comes down the river. The vessels which are in use here, 
may come pretty near the shore in order to be laden, and 
heavy goods are brought to them upon canoes tied to- 
gether. " *^' *''' 

''There is not a place in all the British colonies^ the 
Hudson's Bay settlement excepted, where such quantities 
of furs and skins are bought of the Indians as at Albany. 
Most of the merchants in this town send a clerk or agent 
to Oswego, an English trading town upon the lake 
Ontario, to which the Indians resort with their furs. 
^ ^- ^ The merchants from Albany spend the whole 
summer at Oswego, and trade with many tribes of In- 
dians who come to them with their goods. Many people 
have assured me that the Indians are frequently cheated 
in disposing of their goods, especially when they are in 
liquor ; and that sometimes they do not get one half, or 
even one tenth of the value of their goods. I have been 
a witness to several transactions of this kind. The 
merchants of Albany glory in these tricks, and are highly 
pleased when they have given a poor Indian a greater 
portion of brandy than he can bear, and when they can 
after that get all his goods for mere trifles. The Indians 
often find, when they are sober again, that they have 
been cheated : they grumble somewhat, but are soon 
satisfied when they reflect that they have for once drank 
as much as they are^ able of a liquor which they value 
beyond any thing else in the whole world ; and they are 
quite insensible to their loss, if they again get a draught 
of this nectar. 

'' Besides this trade at Oswego, a number of Indians 
come to Albany from several . parts, especially from 
Canada ; but from this latter place they hardly bring 


any thing but beaver-skins. There is a great penalty in 
Canada for carrying furs to the EngHsh, that trade be- 
longing to the French West India Company ; notwith- 
standing which the French merchants in Canada carry 
on a considerable smuggling trade. They send their furs 
by means of the Indians to their correspondents at Al- 
bany, who purchase them at the price which they have 
fixed upon with the French merchants. The Indians take 
in return several kinds of cloth and other goods, which 
may be got here at a lower rate than those which are sent 
to Canada from France. 

^^The greater part of the merchants at Albany have 
extensive estates in the country and a great deal of wood. 
If their estates have a little brook, they do not fail to erect 
a saw-mill upon it for sawing boards and planks, with 
which commodity many yachts go during the whole 
summer to New York, having scarce any other lading 
than boards. 

^'Many people at Albany make the w^ampum of the 
Indians, which is their ornament and their money, by 
grinding some kinds of shells and muscles : this is a con- 
siderable profit to the inhabitants. '^ '^ ^' The exten- 
sive trade which the inhabitants of Albany carry on, and 
their sparing manner of life, in the Dutch way, contribute 
to the considerable wealth which many of them acquire, 

''The inhabitants of Albany and its environs are al- 
most all Dutchmen. They speak Dutch, have Dutch 
preachers, and divine serv^ice is performed in that lan- 
guage : their manners are likewise Dutch ; their dress is, 
however, like that of the English. '^ ^ '^ 

''The avarice and selfish of the inhabitants of Albany 
are very well known throughout all North America, by 
the English, by the French, and even by the Dutch in 
the lower part of New York province. If a Jew, who 


understands the art of getting forward pretty well, should 
settle amongst them, they would not fail to ruin him. 
For this reason, nobody comes to this place without the 
most pressing necessity ; and therefore I was asked, in 
several places, what induced me to go to it two years one 
after another. I likewise found that the judgment, 
which people formed of them, was not without founda- 
tion. For though they seldom see any strangers (except 
those who go from the British colonies to Canada and 
back again), and one might therefore expect to find vie 
tuals and accommodation for travelers cheaper than in 
places where travelers always resort to; yet I experienced 
the contrary. I was here obliged to pay for every thing 
twice, thrice, and four times as dear as in any part of 
North America which I have passed through. If I 
wanted their assistance, I was obliged to pay them very 
well for it ; and when I wanted to purchase any thing, 
or to be helped in some case or other, I could presently 
see what kind of blood ran in their veins ; for they either 
fixed exorbitant prices for their services, or were very 
backward to assist me. Such was this people in general. 
However, there were some among them who equaled any 
in North America, or any where else in politeness, equity, 
goodness, and readiness to serve and oblige ; but their 
number fell short of that of the former. ^ '^' ^ 

^^ The inhabitants of Albany are much more sparing 
than the English. The meat which is served up is often 
insufficient to satisfy the stomach, and the bowl does 
not circulate so freely as amongst the English. The 
women are perfectly well acquainted with economy ; 
they rise early, go to sleep very late, and are almost over 
nice and cleanly in regard to the floor, which is frequently 
scoured several times in the week. The servants in the 
town are chiefly negroes. Some of the inhabitants wear 


their own hair, but it is very short, without a bag or 
quene^ which are looked upon as the characteristics of 
Frenchmen ; and as I wore my hair in a bag the first day 
I came here from Canada, I was surrounded with child- 
ren, who called me Frenchman and some of the boldest 
offered to pull at my French dress. 

" Their meat and manner of dressing it is very differ- 
ent from that of the English. Their breakfast is tea, 
commonly without milk. About thirty or forty years 
ago, tea was unknown to them, and they breakfasted 
either upon bread and butter or bread and milk. They 
never put sugar into the cup, but take a small bit of it 
into their mouths whilst they drink. Along with the 
tea they eat bread and butter, with slices of hung beef. 
Coffee is not usual here : they breakfast generally about 
seven. Their dinner is buttermilk and bread, to which 
they sometimes add sugar, and then it is a delicious dish 
for them ; or fresh milk and bread ; or boiled or roasted 
flesh. They sometimes make use of butter-milk instead 
of fresh milk to boil a thin kind of porridge with, which 
tastes very sour, but not disagreeable in hot weather. 
To each dinner they have a great salad, prepared with 
abundance of vinegar and very little or no oil. They 
frequently eat butter-milk, bread and salad, one mouth- 
ful after another. Their supper is generally bread and 
butter, and milk and bread. They sometimes eat cheese 
at breakfast and at dinner : it is not in slices, but 
scraped or rasped, so as to resemble course flour, which 
they pretend adds to the good taste of cheese. They 
commonly drink very small beer or pure watei'." ^ 

The number of the inhabitants of Albany County, in 
1 749, was ten thousand six hundred and thirty-four ; a 
decrease of forty seven of the number in 1 787. The bell, 

J Annals of Albany. MunseU. vol. i. pp. 262-774. 


which had been rung by order of the common council at 
eight o'clock every night, was also rung in 1750 at 
noon, or at twelve o'clock. On the second of March, 
1751, the exclusive right of ferrying from Greenbush to 
Albany, at certain rates, for one year, was sold at public 
vendue to Cornelis van Vechten for three pounds nine- 
teen shillings, and the privilege of ferrying from Albany 
to Greenbush was sold to Jeremiah Pemberton for three 
pounds four shillings. 

At the conference held in July by Governor Clinton 
with the sachems of the six nations of Indians, commis- 
sioners were present from the provinces of Massachusetts 
Bay, Connecticut, and South Carolina. The governor of 
South Carolina sent six Catawbas to make peace with 
the six nations, who had been at war with the Catawbas 
for many years. The tribes of the six nations and the 
Catawbas were the allies of the English, and a peace be- 
tween them had long been desired by the governors of 
New York and South Carolina. The usual ceremony of 
smoking the calumet of peace and of exchanging belts of 
wampum ratified the treaty between the Catawbas and 
the six nations. During the time of these conferences 
thirty-three canoes filled with French Indians, about two 
hundred in number, arrived at Albany, bringing a great 
quantity of peltry from Canada. ' 

The seal used by the city in 1752 bore the figure of a 
beaver at bay. Above it was the name Albany in capital 
letters, and below it the date, 1752. 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. pp. 715, 716, 717. 




The initiative act coalescing the thought of the peo- 
ple of the provinces in America in a desire to confederate 
themselves for defence and the advancement of their 
general interests had its primary development in the 
colonial congress convened in Albany, in June, 1754. 
This convocation of the commissioners from the prov- 
inces had been called by letters addressed to the governors 
of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Penn- 
slyvania, Maryland, and Virginia, by the Lords of Trade^ 
dated at Whitehall, the eighteenth of September, 1753. 
The object of the meeting is thus explained in the cir- 
cular : 

'' His Majesty having been pleased to order a sum of 
money to be issued for presents to the Six Nations of In- 
dians and to direct his Governor of New York to hold an 
interview with them for delivering those presents, for 
burying the hatchet, and renewing the Covenant Chain 
with them, we think it our duty to acquaint you there- 
with, and as we find it has been usual upon former oc- 
casions, when an interview has been held with those In- 
dians, for all His Majesty's Colonies, whose interest and 
security are connected with' & depend upon them, to join 
in such interview, and as the present disposition of those 



Indians & the attempts which have been made to with- 
draw them from the British interest appear to us to 
make such a general interview more particularly neces- 
sary at this time, we desire you will lay this matter be- 
fore the Council and General Assembly of the Province 
under your government and reconimend to them forth- 
with to make a proper provision for appointing Com- 
missioners to be joined with those of the other Grovern- 
ments for renewing the Covenant Chain with the Six 
Nations, and for making such presents to them as has 
been usual upon the like occasions. And we desire that 
in the Choice and nomination of the Commissioners you 
will take care that they are men of Character, ability, 
and integrity, and well acquainted with Indian Affairs. 

'' As to the time and place of meeting it is left to the 
Governor of New York to fix it, and he has orders to give 
you early notice of it." ^ 

As commissioners to this convention the General Court 
or Assembly of the province of Massachusetts Bay ap- 
pointed Samuel Welles, John Chandler, Thomas Hutchin- 
son, Oliver Partridge and John Worthington. These 
persons were commissioned ''to represent and appear for 
the said Province at the Convention aforesaid for the 
purposes " mentioned in the letter addressed to the gov- 
ernor, and '' also for entering into Articles of Union and 
Confederation with the aforesaid Governments for the 
General Defence of his Majesty's subjects and Interests 
in North America as well in time of Peace as in war." 

The commissioners from the province of New Hamp- 
shire were Theodore Atkinson, Richard Wibird, Meshech 
Weare and Henry Sherburne, jr. They were directed '* to 
attend at the said Interview to agree upon, consult, and 
conclude what " might ' ' be necessary for Establishing a 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. p. 802. 


sincere and lasting Friendship and Good Harmony with 
the said Six Nations of Indians, and if necessary '^' '^ '^ 
to sign every thing so agreed upon and concluded, and to 
do, and transact all matters and things which " might 
''appertain to the finishing the abovesaid work." 

The colony of Connecticut instructed its commis- 
sioners, William Pitkin, Roger Wolcott, jr. and Elisha 
Williams, to meet with the other colonial commissioners 
and ' ' to consult proper Measures for the General Defence 
and safety of his Majesty's Subjects in said Governments 
and the Indians in his Alliance against the French and 
their Indians.'' 

Stephen Hopkins and Martin Howard, jr., the com- 
missioners from the colony of Rhode Island, were in- 
structed 'Ho act in Conjunction with the said Commis- 
sioners in every thing necessary for the good of his 
Majesty's Subjects in those parts.'' 

Pennsylvania sent as her commissioners, John Penn, 
Richard Peters, Isaac Norris, and Benjamin Franklin, 
and instructed them to act conformably to the orders of 
the Board of Trade. 

Maryland appointed Colonel Benjamin Tasker, and 
Major Abraham Barnes, commissioning them to act with 
the representatives of the other provinces for the defence 
of his majesty's dominions. The commissioners of the 
province of New York were Joseph Murray, William 
Johnson, John Chambers and William Smith. ^ 

The sessions of the colonial congress were held in the 
court-house ; the first meeting on Wednesday, the nine- 
teenth of June. The first consideration of the connnis- 
sioners was respecting the propositions to be made to the 
Indians. To avoid all disputes about the precedence of 
the colonies it was resolved that they should be named 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. ii. pp, 317-321. 


in the minutes according to their situation from the 
north to the south. The Rev. Eichard Peters, one of the 
commissioners from Pennsylvania, preached a sermon on 
Sunday, the twenty-third of June, which was ordered to 
be printed. 

At a meeting, on Monday afternoon, the twenty- 
fourth of June, a motion was made that the commis- 
sioners should give their opinions whether a union of all 
the colonies was not then ''absolutely necessary for their 
security and defence. The question was accordingly put, 
and it passed in the affirmative unanimously. " A commit- 
tee w^as then appointed '' to prej^are and receive plans or 
schemes for the union of the colonies and to digest them 
into one general plan " to be reported to the convention : 
Thomas Hutchinson, Theodore Atkinson, William Pit- 
kin, Stephen Hopkins, Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin 
Tasker being named as that committee. 

After a number of debates, a ' ' Plan of a proposed 
Union of the several colonies of Massachusetts Bay, New 
Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New 
Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Caro- 
lina and South Carolina, for their mutual defence and 
security, and for extending the British Settlements in 
North America'' was accepted by the convention. It 
was proposed that an humble application should be made 
' ' for an act of the Parliament of Grreat Britain, by virtue 
of which one general government" should ''be formed 
in America, including all the said colonies, within and 
under which government each colony" might retain its 
''constitution, except in the particulars wherein a change " 
might "be directed by the said act. That the said gen- 
eral government [should] be administered by a president- 
general, to be appointed and supported by the crown, 
and a grand council [should] be chosen by the represen- 


tatives of the people of the several colonies," meeting 
' ' in their respective assemblies. That within [a certain 
number of] months after the passing of such act, the 
houses of representatives in the several assemblies that 
[should] happen to be sitting within that time or that - ' 
should ''be specially for that purpose convened," might 
and should choose " members for the grand council in the 
following proportions, that is to say : Massachusetts 
Bay 7, New Hampshire 2, Connecticut 5, Ehode Island 2, 
New York 4, New Jerseys 3, Pennsylvania 6, Maryland 
4, Virginia 7, North Carolina 4, South Carolina 4," being 
48 members. 

The city of Philadelphia was designated by the plan 
as the place for the annual meetings of the grand council. 
The plan further proposed that an election of members of 
the grand council should be held every three years. The 
grand-council, it further proposed, should have power to 
make laws for the colonies and the Indians, to build forts, 
to impose duties and taxes, and to regulate trade. The 
laws made by the grand-council were not to ''be repug- 
nant but as near " as might '' be agreeable to the laws of 
England," and were to be transmitted to the king in 
in council ' ' for approval, " and if not disapproved with- 
in three years after presentation " they were to remain 
in force. 

The convention resolved that the proposed plan of 
union should be laid by the several governments before 
their respective constituents for their consideration. 

A large number of the sachems of the six nations at- 
tended the conferences, with whom the commissioners 
made satisfactory covenants of peace and amity. ^ 

The plan was not acceptable to the crown of England. 
Nevertheless it was as sown seed w^aiting the favoring 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. pp. 851, 8513-892. 


influences that were to make it take root and to develop 
its germs not many years thereafter. The signatures of 
Stephen Hopkins and Benjamin Franklin, two of the 
framers of the plan for the Union of Colonies, were, in 
1776, affixed to the Declaration of Independence. 

The French, it seems, did not respect the articles of the 
treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, for a party of French Indians 
were permitted to invade the province of New York, 
who, on the twenty-eighth of August, 1754, burnt the 
houses and barns of some of the settlers at Hoosick. 
The Schaghticoke Indians, about sixty in number, men, 
women, and children, returned with the invading party 
to Canada. When Lieutenant-governor De Lancey was 
informed of these facts, he immediately ordered new 
palisades to be planted around the city of Albany and 
the block-houses to be repaired. He further directed 
that two hundred men of each regiment of the militia of 
the near counties should be held in readiness to march to 
Albany, and sent a company of soldiers there from Fort 
George, at New York. 

The renewal of hostilities between England and 
France led in 1755 to an attempt to reduce the forts of 
the French at Niagara, which they had built there to de- 
fend their line of communication between Canada and the 
head-waters of the Mississippi River. The attacking 
forces were placed under the command of Major-general 
William Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, the rendez- 
vous of his troops being Albany. He marched to Oswego, 
but proceeded no farther. Leaving a garrison there, he 
returned with the remainder of his forces to Albany. 

Major-general William Johnson, then living at Mount 
Johnson, about forty miles west of Albany, was given 
the command of the troops to attack the French at Crown 
Point. In a letter to the Lords of Trade, dated at Lake 


George, the third of September, 1755, he thus describes the 
difficulties he encountered in going there : 

" About 250 Indians have already joined me, and as 
small parties are every day dropping in, I expect, before 
I can be able to leave this place, to have 300. "'' - '^ 
Our Indians appear to be very sincere and zealous in our 
cause, and their young men can hardly be withheld 
from going out a scalping. '^ ^^ '^ 

" 1 am building a Fort at this lake which the French 
call lake St. Sacrament, but I have given it the name of 
Lake George, not only in honour to His Majesty but to 
assertain his undoubted dominion here. 

''I found it a mere wilderness, not one foot cleared. 
I have made a good Waggon Road to it from Albany, 
distance about 70 miles ; never was house or Fort erected 
here before. We have cleared land enough to encamp 
5000 Men. The Troops now under my command and the 
reinforcements on the way will amount to near that 
number. Thro' our whole march from Albany, tho' par- 
ties of the French have been hovering round us, we have 
had but one man scalped and one taken prisoner -^ ^^ '^" 
I propose with a part of the Troops to proceed down the 
Lake, at the end whereof is an important pass called 
Tionderogue, about 50 miles from hence, and 15 miles 
from Crown paint, and there endeavor to take post till 
the rest of the Forces join me, and then march to the 
attack of Crown point, all which I hope to effect in about 
three weeks." ^ 

Among the troops of the different colonies that were 
encamped on both sides of the river, near Albany, in 
June and July, was the regiment of Colonel Ephriam 
Williams from Massachusetts. While waiting for orders 
to march to join General Johnson at Lake George, Colonel 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. pp. 994, 997. 


Williams made his will at Albany, on the twenty-second 
of July, in which he made certain bequests for the es- 
tablishment of a free school. Williams' College, at Wil- 
liamstown^ Massachusetts, preserves the memory of its 
distinguished founder in the name it bears. Colonel 
Williams, on the eighth of September, was attacked by 
the French forces under General Ludwig August Dieskau 
in a narrow pass, about four miles from the fortified camp 
of the English army. While valiantly repelling the as- 
sault of the enemy, Colonel Williams was killed. Having 
forced this small detachment to retreat, Baron Dieskau 
then advanced and engaged the main army commanded 
by General Johnson. The valor of the colonial forces 
soon put to route the French troops and their Indian al- 
lies. Baron Dieskau was badly wounded in one of his 
legs and fell into the v hands of the English. He was 
taken to Albany, where he had all the care he desired. 
Sometime afterward he was sent to New York and 
thence to England, where he died. In a letter, written by 
an artilleryman who was in the engagement, the negro- 
soldiers are highly praised for brave conduct : ' ' Our 
Blacks behaved better than the whites." General John- 
son received a wound in one of his hips. 

The general, writing, on the sixteenth of Septembei*, 
thus speaks of the wants which delayed his advance on 
Crown Point : '' Our Expedition is likely to be extreamly 
distressed & I fear fatally retarded for the want of Wag- 
gons. The People of the County of Albany & the Adja- 
cent Counties hide their Waggons & drive away their 
Horses. Most of the Waggons taken into this Service 
have deserted, some Horses are quite jaded, & some few 
[have been] killed by the Enemy & several [have] run 
away. Most of our Provisions are at Albany." 

The council of war, finding that it was impossible to 


supply the army at Lake Greorge with provisions and 
other things needed by it to attack Crown Point before 
the beginning of winter, concluded to abandon the 
project and to disband the troops. ^ Having built Fort 
William Henry and garrisoned it with six hundred men, 
General Johnson returned with his other troops to Al- 
bany. King George H., to reward him for his services, 
granted unto him and ^'his heirs male, the dignity of a 
baronet of Great Britain," and presented him with a 
gratuity of five hundred pounds sterling. 

The Eev. Samuel Chandler, chaplain of one of the 
Massachusetts regiments, while on his way to Fort Ed- 
ward, stopped several days in October, 1755, in Albany. 
In his journal are a number of observations respecting 
the city. The ferry-charge for a man and horse ferried 
from Greenbush, he says, was " 10 coppers." He 
boarded at Lottridge's, which was ''called the English 
tavern," opposite the dwelling of the Widow Jenaverie, 
on the opposite corner of the street. Some of the fire- 
places in the houses of the Dutch people had very small 
jambs with three or four rows of tile, others had ''no 
jambs at all." Along the streets were "rows of small 
button trees." Many of the brick-houses were curiously 
flowered with black bricks, and " dated with the same." 
The governor's house was ornamented with two black 
brick-hearts. The brick-houses were commonly one story 
high and their gable-ends were "notched like steps." 
They had "window-shutters" and "loop holes" in the' 
cellars. The vanes on the house were mostly figures of 
horses, lions, geese, and sloops. The bells were ' ' often 
ringing ;" they were rung and not tolled for funerals. 
" The settees " in front of the doors of the houses were 
" kept scoured very neat." From the north gate of the 

1 Doc, colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vi. pp. lOU, 1021. 


city to the river was a stone wall '^with loopholes." 
The bedsteads were boxes with boarded bottoms ; each 
had a feather-bed, an under sheet, and a blanket-cover. 
There were many compactly built houses along the road 
from the north gate to Madam Van Rensselaer's seat, at 
the mills, which mansion was '' pretty grand." Colonel 
Cuyler told him that there were about five hundred 
families in the city. 

On Sunday, the twelfth of October, Chaplain Chand- 
ler went up to the Flats, [ now called Port Schuyler, on 
the south side of West Troy,] where two or three com- 
panies of soldiers were encamped, and preached in Col- 
onel Philip Pieterse Schuyler's barn, taking for his text 
the first verse of the fifteenth chapter of Genesis. The 
colonel and the members of his family attended the ser- 
vices. After dining with Colonel Schuyler, his hospita- 
ble host had him conveyed in the afternoon in his chaise 
or chair to Albany. ^ 

In October, 1Y56, there were a number of persons in 
the city taken with the small pox, and the common coun- 
cil ordered that the people in the houses in which there 
were persons afflicted with it should not go abroad nor 
permit others to visit them. 

In the geographical description of the province, con- 
tained in Smith's history of New York, printed in Lon- 
don in 1Y57, is the following important information con- 
cerning the city and county of Albany : " This County 
[of Albany] extends from the South Bounds of the 
Manor of Livingston on the East Side, and Ulster on the 
West Side of the Hudson's River ; on the North its Limits 
are not yet ascertained. * ^' '^ 

" The Houses [in the city of Albany] are built of Brick 
in the Dutch Taste, and are in Number about 350. There 

1 Coll. on history of Albany. Munsell. vol. ii. pp 'Sl4, 375. 


are two Churches in it. That of the Episcopahans, the 
only one in this large County, is a Stone Building. The 
Congregation is but small, almost all the Inhabitants 
resorting to the Dutch Church, which is a plain, square, 
stone Edifice. Besides these they have no other publick 
Buildings, except the City Hall and the Fort, the latter 
of which is a stone Square, with four Bastions, situated 
on an Eminence which overlooks the Town, but is itself 
commanded by higher Ground. The greatest Part of the 
City is fortified only by Palisades, and in some Places 
there are small Cannon planted in Block-houses. 

''Albany was incorporated by Colonel Dongan in 1686, 
and is under the Government of a Mayor, Recorder, six 
Aldermen, and as many Assistants. It has also a Sheriff, 
Town Clerk, Chamberlain, Clerk of the Markets, one 
High Constable, three Sub-Constables, and a Marshal. 
The Corporation is Empowered besides to hold a Mayor's 
Court for the Trial of civil Causes, and a Court of Gen- 
eral Quarter Sessions." 

The Hudson River is thus described : ''Its Source has 
not, as yet, been discovered. We know, in general, that 
it is in the mountainous, uninhabited Country, between 
Lakes Ontario and Champlain. In its Course Southward 
it approaches the Mohawks River within a few Miles at 
Saucondauga. From thence it runs North and North- 
easterly towards Lake St. Sacrement, now called Lake 
George, and is not above 8 or 10 Miles distant from it. 
The Course then to New York is very uniform, being in 
the Main South 12 or 15° West. 

"The Distance from Albany to Lake George is com- 
puted at 65 Miles. The River in that Interval is naviga- 
ble only to Batteaus, and interrupted by Rifts, which 
occasion two of a half a Mile each. ^ There are three 

1 " In the Passage from Albany to Fort Edward, the whole Land Car- 
riage is about 12 or 18 Miles." Idem. 


Routes from Crown Point to Hudson's River in the Way 
to Albany ; one through Lake George, another through 
a Branch of Lake Champlain, bearing a Southern Course, 
and terminating in a Bason, several Miles East of Lake 
George, called the South Bay. The third is by ascending 
the Wood Creek, a shallow Stream, about one hundred 
Feet broad, which, coming from the South-east, empties 
itself into the South Branch of the Lake Champlain. 

" The Place, where these Routes meet on the Banks of 
Hudson's River, is called the Carrying Place. Here Fort 
Lyman, ^ since called Fort Edward, is built ; but Fort 
William Henry, a much stronger Garrison, was erected 
at the South end of Lake George, after the Repulse of 
the French Forces under the Command of Baron Dieskau 
on the 8th of September, 1755. General Shirley thought 
it more advisable to strengthen Fort Edward in the 
Concurrence of three Routes than to erect the other at 
Lake George 17 Miles to the Northward of it ; and 
wrote a very pressing Letter upon that Head to Sir 
William Johnson, who then commanded the Provincial 
Troops. '^ ^ -^ 

^^The Tide flows a few Miles above Albany. The 
Navigation is safe, and performed in Sloops of about 40 
or 50 Tons burden. '^ ^' ^ The River is stored with a 
Variety of Fish, which renders a Summer's Passage to 
Albany exceedingly diverting to such as are fond of 

Adverting to the character and manners of the 
people of the province, the well-informed historian says : 
'^English is the most prevailing Language amongst us, 
but not a little corrupted by the Dutch Dialect, which is 
still so much used in some Counties that the Sheriffs find 

1 Named in honor of General Phineas Lyman, the commander of the 
Connecticut troops under Johnson in 1755. 


it difficult to obtain Persons sufficiently acquainted with 
the English Tongue to serve as Jurors in the Courts of 

''The Manners of the People differ as well as their 
Language. '^ '^' '^ In the City of New York, through 
our Intercourse with the Europeans^ we follow the Lon- 
don Fashions ; though by the Time we adopt them they 
become disused in England. Our Affluence, during the 
late War, introduced a Degree of Luxury in Tables, Dress, 
and Furniture, with which we were before unacquainted. 
But still we are not so gay a People as our neighbors in 
Boston and several of the Southern Colonies. The Dutch 
Counties, in some measure, follow the Example of New 
York, but still retain many Modes peculiar to the Hol- 
landers. -^ ^ * 

" The Fur Trade though very much impaired by the 
French Wiles and Encroachments, ought not to be passed 
over in Silence. ^ The Building of Oswego has conduced 
more than any Thing else to the preservation of this 
Trade. Peltry of all kinds is purchased with Eum, Am- 
munition, Blankets, Strouds, and Wampum or Conque- 
shoU Bugles. The French Fur Trade at Albany was 
carried on till the .Summer of 1755 by the Caghnuaga 
Proselytes ; and in Return for their Peltry they received 
Spanish Pieces of Eight, and some other Articles which 
the French want to complete their Assortment of Indian 
Goods. For the Savages prefer the English Strouds to 
theirs, and the French found it to their Interest to pur- 
chase them of us, and transport them to the Western 
Indians on the Lakes Erie, Huron, and at the Streight of 
Misilmakinac. ^ ^ ^ 

1 " It is computed that formerly we exported 150 Hogsheads of Beaver 
and other fine Furs />ef' Annum, and 'iUO Hogsheads of Indian-dressed Deer- 
skins, besides those carried from Albany into New England. Skins undressed 
are usually shiped to Holland." Jdem. 


*'The money used in this Province is Silver, Gold, 
British Halfpence, and bills of Credit. To counterfeit 
either of them is Felony without Benefit of Clergy ; but 
none except the latter, and Lyon Dollars are a legal Ten- 
der. Tv^elve Halfpence till lately passed for a Shilling ; 
v^hich being much beyond their Value in any of the 
neighboring Colonies, the Assembly, in 1Y53, resolved 
to proceed at their next Meeting, after the 1st of May 
ensuing, to the Consideration of a Method for ascertain- 
ing their Value. A Set of Gentlemen, in Number Seven- 
ty-two, took Advantage of the Discredit that Resolve 
put upon Copper Halfpence, and on the 22d of December, 
subscribed a Paper, engaging not to receive or pass them 
except at the Rate of fourteen Coppers to a Shilling. 
This gave Rise to a Mob for a few Days among the lower 
Class of People, but some of them being imprisoned, the 
Scheme was Carried into Execution, and established in 
every Part of the Province without the Aid of a 
Law. ^ ^ ^ 

" Our Schools are in the lowest order ; the Instructors 
want Instruction, and through a long shameful Neglect of 
all the Arts and Sciences, our common Speech is extremely 
corrupt, and the Evidences of a bad Taste, both as to 
Thought and Language, are visible in all our Proceedings, 
publick and private ^ -^ ^ The People, both in Town 
and Country, are sober, industrious, and hospitable, 
though intent upon Gain. The richer Sort keep very 
plentiful Tables abounding with great Varieties of Flesh, 
Fish, Fowl, and all kinds of Vegetables. The Common 
Drinks are Beer, Cyder, weak Punch, and Maderia Wine. 
For Desert we have Fruits in vast Plenty of different 
Kinds and various Species. -^ ^ ^ 

"Few Physicians amongst us are eminent for their 
Skill. Quacks abound like Locusts in Egypt, and too 


many have recommended themselves to a full Practice 
and profitable Subsistence. This is the less to be won- 
dered at as the Profession is under no kind of Regulation. 
Loud as the Call is, to our Shame be it remembered, we 
have no Law to protect the Lives of the king's Subjects 
from the Malpractice of Pretenders. Any Man at his 
Pleasure sets up for Physician, Apothecary, and Chirur- 
geon. No Candidates are either examined or licensed, 
or even sworn to fair Practice. ^ ^ ^ 

''The Clergy of this Province are in general but in- 
differently supported ; it is true they live easily, but few 
of them leave any Thing to their Children. '^ ''' ^ As 
to the Number of our Clergymen, it is large enough at 
present, there being but few Settlements unsupplied with 
a Ministry, and some superabound. In Matters of 
Religion we are not so intelligent in general as the In- 
habitants of the New England Colonies ; but both in 
Respect and good Morals we certainly have the Ad- 
vantage of the Southern Provinces." ^ 

In 1756 another attempt was made to reduce the 
French forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Again 
the Hudson between New York and Albany became 
picturesque with the numerous vessels bearing troops and 
the munitions of war to the head of the river's navigation. 
On both sides of the river near the city were camps of 
English soldiers and provincial militia. On the twenty- 
fifth of June, General James Abercrombie arrived with 
two regiments of regular troops. About ten thousand 
men were to be seen daily drilling and manoeuvering on 
the banks of the river in the month of July. The music 
of fifes and drums made the inhabitants familiar with 
the different notifications governing the routine of camp- 

1 History of New York. Smith, pp. 197, 198, 201, 202, 210, 211, 212, 
214, 216, 217, 228. 


life. Hundreds of Indians in their war-paint frequented 
the city with their squaws and children. On the twenty- 
seventh of July, the Earl of London arrived and took 
command of the army. However, before it had accom- 
plished the purposes of its organization, the French had 
attacked Fort Oswego and had made the English com- 
mander surrender its garrison and stores. This success 
of the French in August, abruptly terminated the cam- 
paign of 1756. 

The concentration of troops at Albany in 1757 to repel 
the advance of the French force under Montcalm had no 
successful results. The latter's attack on Fort William 
Henry in August and the massacre of the vanquished 
garrison, caused the people of Albany the greatest anxiety 
and alarm. The city now became a place of refuge to 
the settlers along the frontier. During the fall and win- 
ter a large number of soldiers were quartered in the city. 

" A regiment came to town about this time," says Mrs. 
Anne Grant in her '^ Memoirs,"^ " the superior officers 
of which were younger, more gay, and less amenable to 
good counsel than those who used to command the troops 
which had formerly been placed on this station. '^ - ^ 
Those dangerously accomplished heroes made their ap- 
perance at a time when the English language began to 
be more generally understood, and when the pretensions 
of the merchants, commissaries," [and others,] ''to the 
stations they occupied were no longer dubious. Those 
polished strangers now began to make a part of general 
society. ^ ^ ^- By this time the Anglomania was 
beginning to spread. A sect arose among the young 
people, who seemed resolved to assume a lighter style of 
dress and manners, and to borrow their taste in those 
respects from their new friends. ^ "^ ^ 

1 She was the daughter of Duncan McVicar, and married the Rev^ 
James Grant in 17'79. Her " Memoirs " was first published in 1808. 


''The colonel of the regiment, who was a man of 
fashion and family, and possessed talents for both good 
and evil purposes, was young and gay, and being lodged 
in the house of a very wealthy citizen, who had before, in 
some degree, atfected the newer modes of living, so 
captivated him with his good breeding and affability, 
that he was ready to humor any scheme of diversion 
which the colonel and his associates proposed. Under 
the auspices of this gallant commander, balls began to be 
concerted, and a degree of flutter and frivolity to take 
place, which was as far from elegance as it was from 
the honest, artless cheerfulness of the meetings usual 
among them. ''" '^' ^^ 

" Now the very ultimatum of degeneracy, in the opin- 
ion of these simple good people, was approaching ; for 
now^ the officers, encouraged by the success of all their 
projects for amusement, resolved to new^-fashion and en- 
lighten those amiable novices whom their former schemes 
had attracted within the sphere of their influence ; and 
for this purpose a private theatre was fitted up and pre- 
parations made for acting a play. '^ - ^^ 

" The play - '' '' was acted in a barn and pretty 
well attended. -^ '" "-'* It was the Beaux' Stratagem, 
no favorable specimen of the delicacy or morality of the 
British theatre ; and for the wit it contained very little 
of that was level to the comprehension of the novices 
who were there first initiated into a knowledge of the 
magic of the scene. ''' '^ '^ They laughed very heartily 
at seeing the gay young ensigns, whom they had been 
used to dance with, fiirting fans, displaying great hoops, 
and, with painted cheeks and colored eyebrows, sailing 
about in female habiliments. ^ ^' '" 

" The fame of their exhibition went abroad, and opin- 
ions were formed of them no way favorable to the actors 


or to the audience. In this region of reaUty, where rigid 
truth was always undisguised, they had not learned 
to distinguish between fiction and falsehood. Ifc was 
said that the officers, familiar with every vice and every 
disguise, had not only spent a whole night in telling lies 
in a counterfeited place, the reahty of which had never 
existed, but that they were themselves a he, and had de- 
graded manhood and broken through an express prohibi- 
tion in Scripture by assuming female habits ; that they had 
not only told hes, but cursed and swore the whole night, 
and assumed the characters of knaves, fools, and robbers, 
which every good and wise man held in detestation, and 
no one would put on unless they felt themselves easy in 
them. Painting their faces, of all other things, seemed 
most to violate the Albanian ideas of decorum, and was 
looked upon as a most flagrant abomination. Great and 
loud was the outcry produced by it. Little skilled in 
sophistry, and strangers to all the arts ' that make the 
worse appear the better reason,' the young auditors 
could only say ' that indeed it was very amusing, made 
them laugh heartily, and did harm to nobody.^ So harm- 
less, indeed, did this entertain uient appear to the new con- 
verts to fashion, that the Recruiting Officer was given 
out for another night. "^ 

In 1758 another army was sent to reduce the fort at 
Ticonderoga. In the early part of the summer a number 
of regiments under the command of Oeneral Abercrombie 
encamped in the great field on the south side of the city, 
commonly known as the Pasture. Lord Howe was 
among the British officers who had tents in the camp. The 
unsuccessful assault upon Fort Carillon, at Ticonderoga, 
in July, and the subsequent retreat of Abercrombie's dis- 

1 Memoirs of an American lady, with sketches of manners and scenery 
in America as they existed previous to the Revolution. By Mrs. [Anne] 
Grant. Phila., 1846. pp. 152, 153, 156, 158, 159. 


heartened forces to Fort William Henry, greatly depressed 
the people of the frontier. Many of the wounded of the 
army were conveyed in boats to Albany. The body of Lord 
Howe, who had been killed at the beginning of the en- 
gagement with the French, was brought to the city by 
Captain Philip Schuyler, and buried with befitting honors. 
By some it is said that the corpse was interred in a vault 
in the English church, by others, in one in the Reformed 
Protestant Dutch church. 

After the retreat of the army to the south end of Lake 
George, a detachment of three thousand men under Col- 
onel John Bradstreet was sent by the way of Albany to 
reduce Fort Frontenac at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. 
On the twenty-seventh of August, the English were in 
possession of it. The two militia-companies from Albany, 
commanded by Captains Peter Yates and Groosen van 
Schaick, took part in the successful assault on Fort 

Another army, under the command of Lord Amherst, 
encamped in May and June, 1759, around the city. In 
July it moved northward to attack Fort Carillon, at Ti- 
conderoga. The withdrawal of the French forces from 
it and from the fortifications at Crown Point, permitted 
the English army without opposition to take possession 
of the two strongholds. The fall of Quebec and Montreal 
and the occupation of Canada by the British, ended the 
war with the French which had so long disturbed and 
impoverished the people of the city and county of Albany. 

The common council, in 1758, to obtain some needed 
money for the use of the city, established a public lottery, 
and appointed a board of managers to superintend the 
sale of tickets. In January, 1759, a thousand pounds 
sterling had been raised, which were ordered to be paid 
to the city-treasurer. 


Meanwhile there had been several changes in the pas- 
torates of the two churches. The Rev. Cornells van 
Schie, who had died in 1744, had been succeeded in 1746 
by the Rev. Theodoras Frielinghuysen, who was pastor 
of the congregation of the Reformed Protestant Dutch 
Church until the fall of 1759, when he resigned and sailed 
to Holland. The Rev. Eilardus Westerlo, in the autumn 
of 1760, became his successor. 

After the Rev. Henry Barclay accepted the rectorship 
of Trinity church, New York, in 1746, the English church 
had no clergyman to take charge of its congregation 
until March, 1749, when the Rev. JohnOgilvie, a graduate 
of Yale College, began his ministrations. While he was 
absent with the army on the frontier, the Rev. Thomas 
Brown, deputy-chaplain of the 60th regiment of Royal 
Americans, supplied his place from the twenty-first of 
December, 1760, to November, 1761. In 1764 he became 
the successor of the Rev. John Ogilvie, who that year was 
made rector of Trinity church, New York. 

To organize a Presbyterian church in the city, a num- 
ber of persons addressed a petition in 1760 to the mayor, 
recorder, aldermen and conmionalty requesting a license 
to be granted them for the purpose. On the third of 
April, the municipal authorities complied with the re- 
quest of the petitioners, and promised to ' ' do every thing 
in their power to encourage and promote" the under- 
taking, and ordered the mayor to sign the license and 
the clerk to affix the seal of the city to the document. 

The birthday of King George II., the thirtieth of 
October, was celebrated in Albany by the burning of a 
great bonfire, the wood for which cost the city three 
pounds sterling. ^ 

1 Doc. history N. Y. vol. iii. pp. 697, 698 ; vol. iv. p. 196. Coll. on the 
hist, of Albany. Munsell. vol. i. pp. 119, 122. 




Great Britain's possession of Canada ended the war 
along the northern frontier of Albany county. The im- 
poverished people, no longer deterred from pursuing 
their personal occupations, undertook them with un- 
usual earnestness and application. The municipal au- 
thorities, to increase the city's revenues, resolved that 
no freedom or permission to do business in the city 
should be given to a merchant without the payment of 
three pounds twelve shillings, or to any person to 
manufacture without the payment of one pound sixteen 
shillings. The mayor was to receive from these sums 
'"^twelve shillings for his own use," and the clerk one 
shilling for affixing the city's seal to each freedom. Any 
person born in the city, having attained the age of 
twenty-one years, could obtain a freedom on the pay- 
ment of two shillings. 

In 1761, it appears that a town-clock was placed in 
one of the steeples, for six pounds sterling were to 
be paid to Philip Reyley for his care of it for one year. 
By a resolution of the common council, on the twenty- 
sixth of March, 1762, a new fire engine of the fifth size 
manufactured by Richard Newsham, was ordered to be 
purchased for the city through John George Liebenrood, 


a London merchant. The engine was received in March, 
1763, and on the second of April following, the sum of 
one hundred and fifty-eight pounds nineteen shillings 
and six pence was ordered to be paid for it. At this 
time the number of the city's firemen was thirty-one.^ 
In November of the same year the common council pur- 
chased forty-eight leather fire-buckets and ordained that 
each of the aldermen and the assistants should be the 
keeper of four buckets on which were painted designat- 
ing numerals. 

An ordinance was published in October, 1765, by the 
common council, that "^two sufficient persons'' in each 
ward should be appointed viewers of chimneys, hearths 
and places where ashes were kept, whose duty it was to 
inspect the same once every fortnight, and when any 
fire or hot ashes were unprotectedly exposed to notify the 
person or persons responsible for the same, and should 
he, she or they fail or refuse to act as instructed, the 
latter were to be fined forty shillings. Any person or 
persons permitting his, her or their chimney or chim- 
neys to become foul with soot and the same should catch 
fire, were to forfeit the sum of forty shillings. Any 
member of the city-guard discovering an accidental fire 
was entitled to a reward of three pounds. 

The ordinance also enjoined that householders 
using two fire places should possess two leather buckets ; 
brewers, tavern-keepers, and bakers should have three. 

1 In the first ward : Volkert van Vechten, Gerrit van Zandt (Sante), jr., 
Jacob Roseboom, Peter Ryckman, Stephen Schuyler, Marte Myndertse (van 
Iveren), William Fryer, John Stevenson, John Johannes Lansingh, and 
Isaac Bogart, jr. In the second ward : Gerardus Lansingh, Jacob Bleecker. 
Isaac Verplanck, Casparus Pruyn, Volkert A. Douw, Nicholas Marselis, 
Peter Williams, John Marselis, Anthony Bleecker, Sander Lansingh, Corne- 
lius van Schelluyne, John H. Roseboom, and Gysbert G. Marselis. In the 
third ward : Abraham L. Fonda, Philip De Forest, Abraham Schuyler, John 
Ten Broeck, Abraham Cuyler, Nanning H. Vischer, Thomas Hun, and Isaac 
van Arnem. 


The buckets were to "^^ be marked with at least the initial 
letters " of the names of the owners. Any person who 
failed to comply with the requirements of the ordinance 
was to forfeit six shillings. If any person should retain 
for forty-eight hours a bucket belonging to another that 
had been used at a fire and did not return it to the 
owner, or if ignorant of the latter's name, to the city- 
hall, he was to pay a fine of ten shillings for each bucket 
retained by him. 

To impress upon all the duty of assisting in ex- 
tinguishing fires, the following oflicial censure was 
added to the third section of the ordinance : '^^It seems 
astonishing that in a Christian country where the essen- 
tial principles of professed religion lay the people under 
an indispensible obligation to do to others as they would 
others should do unto them, [that some] should see their 
neighbors' houses on fire and not use their utmost 
endeavours to assist them to quench it ; notwithstanding 
experience shews that there are people so far abandoned 
as to appear, as it w^ere, to shew their indifference, and 
instead of assisting, a duty required by the laws of Christ- 
ianity & nature, often impede and hinder others from 
assisting their neighbors in such casualty and distress." 

To remedy ^'such inexcusable remissness in such 
dangerous casualties," it was ordained that the mayor, 
the recorder, the first two aldermen, and the sheriff 
were to repair to the place where there was a fire to 
'^have the care and direction of the people & Fire en- 
gines," and '^ all other Tools and Instruments " for the 
speedy extinguishment of the fire ; that the other alder- 
men with the assistance of the constables were '' to have 
the ranking, placing, and directing of the people to 
hand water ;" and that any person, ^'ordered and di- 
rected at or about such fire " by any of these officials. 


neglecting or refusing to obey and perform their orders, 
was ''to forfeit and pay for every such neglect and 
refusal the sum of ten shillings current money." 

''In case of any outcry of fire or any other alarm, 
riot, rout or insurrection," it was ordained that persons 
dweUing in rooms fronting the streets, lanes, and alleys 
of the city, were immediately to "illuminate and set 
three or more Candles " in their front windows to re- 
main there "illuminated until Day Light unless such 
fire, alarm, riot, rout, insurrection^' should " sooner be 
extinguished or quelled." Any person who should neg- 
lect this duty was to forfeit three shillings. 

The common council to protect the business of those 
whom they had appointed to remove the soot from foul 
chimneys^ also ordained that no person should "presume 
to cleanse any of the chimneys in the city " except the 
city-sweeps. ^ 

The society of Presbyterians, organized in 1760, re- 
ceived permission from Lord Amherst on the seventh of 
March, 1762, to make use of the forage-house near the 
maiii guard-house, as a "place of worship." On the sec- 
ond of September, the mayor, aldermen and commonalty 
transferred to John McComb, David Edgar, Samuel Hol- 
liday, Robert Henry, Abraham Lyle, and John Monro, 
elders of the English Presbyterian church, for ever in 
trust for the use of the society, the plat of ground on the 
northwest corner of Hudson Avenue and William Street, 
then described as lying in the first ward of the city, 
"having to the East the street that adjoyns to the Letts 
of William Fryer and others, on the North, West, and 
and South by the commons." ^ As set forth in the deed, 

1 Albany records, 1161, 11Q2, 116S, 1765. 

2 " In front along the said street one hundred and thirty-two feet, con- 
taining on the North side thirty feet, on the South one hundred and forty- 
eight feet, and on the West side one hundred and ninety-two feet, all Ryn- 
land measure, according to a Map thereof made by Mr. John R. Bleecker." 


the ground was given ^^ to erect and build a Presbyterian 
Meeting-house on, and to and for no other use and in- 
tention whatsoever."^ The church, it appears, was 
shortly afterward built on it, for in October, 1766, the 
plat is described as the '^ Apiece of ground where the 
Presbyterian Meeting is erected on." 

The part of the hill on the south side of the fort and 
west of South Pearl street was at this time called Gal- 
lows hill. On the twenty-sixth of July, 1762, the com- 
mon council resolved that the land immediately west of 
the fort where the gallows was then standing and the 
land on Gallows hill should be laid out in acre-lots and 
sold at public vendue for a term of twenty-one years 
with such restrictions as should be agreed upon there- 

The authorities in February, 1763, bought of William 
Brefit a bound servant, named James Nox, for the sum 
of nine pounds sterling, to serve the city for the remain- 
der of his term of service as a public whipper. Public 
sentiment in the eighteenth century, it would seem, had 
a different education than it has at present, for it was 
resolved by the aldermen that five tickets of the New 
York lottery should be purchased " in behalf of the cor- 
poration," and the mayor was ordered to take them to 
New York and present them on the day of drawing. On 
the tenth of January, 1763, VolkertP. Douw, the mayor, 
delivered to the city-clerk four pounds five shillings, 
drawn by one of the tickets, the other four having drawn 
blanks. ^ 

The patroon of Rensselaerswyck, Stephen van Rens- 
selaer, in 1765, completed the building of his attractive 
and commodious manor-house. The date of its erection 

1 Doc. hist. N. Y. vol. iv. p. Albany records, 1760, 1763, 1760. 

2 Albany records, 1762. 


in large iron numerals ornament the stately edifice still 
standing a short distance north of Thacher Street, in 
the north part of the city. Almost opposite it, on the 
west side of Broadway, is the one-story, brick office of 
the estate, containing a large number of manorial pa- 
pers, maps, and account-books, some of which are more 
than two hundred and fifty years old. 

It was during this period of peace that Mrs. Grant 
acquired her knowledge of the people of Albany, of 
whose habits and customs she wrote so comprehensively 
in her ^'Memoirs of an American lady." Describing a 
custom which she thought was peculiar to Albany until 
she i-ead an account of one similar to it followed in 
Geneva, France, she says : 

" The children of the town were all divided into com- 
panies, as they called them, from five' to six years of 
age, till they became marriageable. How those com- 
panies first originated, or what were their exact regula- 
tions, I cannot say ; though I, belonging to none, oc- 
casionally mixed with several, yet ahvays as a stranger, 
notwithstanding that I spoke their current language 
fluently. Every company contained as many boys as 
girls. But I do not know that there was any limited 
number ; only this I recollect, that a boy and girl of 
each company, who were older, cleverer, or had some 
other pre-eminence above the rest, were called heads 
of the company, and as such, were obeyed by the 
others. '^' '^ ^' 

" The companies of little children had also their head. 
All the children of the same age were not in one com- 
pany ; there were at least three or four of equal ages, 
who had a strong rivalry with each other ; and children 
of different ages in the same family belonged to different 
companies. '"' ''^" '"" Each company, at a certain time 


of the year went in a body to gather a particular kind 
of berries to the hill. It was a sort of annual festival 
attended with religious punctuality. Every company 
had a uniform for this purj)ose ; that is to say, very 
pretty light baskets made by the Indians, with lids and 
handles, which hung over the arm, and were adorned 
with various colors. "^ '^' '^ 

' ' The parents of these children seemed very much to 
encourage this manner of marshalling and dividing 
themselves. Every child was permitted to entertain the 
whole company on its birthday, and once beside, during 
winter and spring. The master and mistress of the 
family always were bound to go from home on these oc- 
casions, while some old domestic was left to attend and 
Avatch over them, with an ample provision of tea, choco- 
late, preserved and dried fruits, nuts, and cakes of 
various kinds, to which was added cider or a syllabub ; ^ 
for these young friends met at four, and did not part till 
nine or ten, and amused themselves with the utmost 
gayety and freedom in any way their fancy dictated. I 
speak from hearsay ; for no person that does not belong 
to the company is ever admitted to these meetings ; other 
children or young people visit occasionally, and are 
civilly treated, but they admit of no intimacies beyond 
their company. The consequence of these exclusive and 
early intimacies was, that [when the members were] 
grown up, it was reckoned a sort of apostacy to marry 
out of one's company, and indeed it did not often hap- 
pen. '^ ^ '^ Their dress of ceremony was never put 
on but when their company were assembled.'' 

The observant writer relates that the people of Al- 
bany '^were exceedingly social, and visited each other 
very frequently, besides the regular assembling together 

1 A drink made of wine and milk. 


in their porches every fine evening. Of the more sub- 
stantial luxuries of the table they knew little, and of 
the formal and ceremonious parts of good breeding still 

''^If you went to spend the day anywhere you were 
received in a manner we should think very cold. No 
one rose to welcome you ; no one wondered you had not 
come sooner, or apologized for any deficiency in your en- 
tertainment. Dinner, which was very early, was served 
exactly in the same manner as if there were only the 
family. The house indeed was so exquisitely neat and 
well regulated, that you could not surprise these people ; 
they saw each other so often and so easily, that intimates 
made no diif erence. Of strangers they were shy ; not by 
any means from want of hospitality, but from a con- 
sciousness that people who had little to value themselves 
on but their knowledge of the world and ceremonies of 
polished life, disliked their sincerity and despised their 
simplicity. If you showed no insolent wonder, but 
easily and quietly adopted their manners, you would re- 
ceive from them not only very great civility but much 
essential kindness. ^ ^^ ^ 

"^ After sharing this plain and unceremonious dinner, 
which might, by the by, chance to be a very good one, 
but was invariably that which was meant for the family, 
tea was served in at a very early hour. And here it was 
that the distinction shown to strangers commenced. Tea 
here was a perfect regale, being served up with various 
sorts of cakes unknown to us, cold pastry, and great 
quantities of sweetmeats and preserved fruits of various 
kinds, and plates of hickory and other nuts ready 
cracked. In all manner of confectionery and pastry 
these people excelled ; and having fruit in great plenty, 
which cost them nothing, and getting sugar home at an 


easy rate, in return for their exports to the West Indies, 
the quantity of these articles used in famihes, other- 
wise plain and frugal, was astonishing. Tea was never 
unaccompanied with one of these petty articles ; but 
for strangers a great display was made. If you stayed 
[for] supper, you were sure of a most substantial though 
[a] plain one. In this meal they departed, out of com- 
pliment to the strangers, from their usual simplicity. 
Having dined between twelve and one o'clock, you were 
quite prepared for it. You had either game or poultry 
roasted, and always shell-fish in the season ; you had 
also fruit in abundance. All this with much neatness 
but no form." 

Of the detached Indian families, who in summer 
resided in the vicinity of the houses of wealthy persons 
living near the city, Mrs. Grant thus speaks : '^They 
generally built a slight wigwam under shelter of the 
orchard-fence on the shadiest side ; and never were 
neighbors more harmless, peaceable, and obliging— I 
might truly add industrious — for in one way or other 
they were constantly occupied. The women and their 
children employed themselves in many ingenious handi- 
crafts, which since the introduction of European arts and 
manufactures, have greatly declined. Baking trays, 
wooden dishes, ladles and spoons, shovels and rakes ; 
brooms of a peculiar manufacture made by splitting a 
birch-block into slender but tough filaments ; baskets of 
all kinds and sizes, made of similar filaments, enriched 
with the most beautiful colors, which they alone knew 
how to extract from vegetable substances, and incor- 
porate with the wood. They made also of the birch- 
bark (which is here so strong and tenacious that cradles 
and canoes are made of it,) many receptacles for holding 
fruit and other things, curiously adorned with embroid- 


ery, not inelegant, done with the sinews of deer ; and leg- 
gins and moccasins, a very comfortable and highly orna- 
mental substitute for shoes and stockings, then univer- 
sally used in winter among the men of our own people. 

" They had also a beautiful manufacture of deer-skin, 
softened to the consistence of the finest chamois leather 
and embroidered with beads of wampum, formed like 
bugles ; these, with great art and industry, they formed 
out of shells, which 'had the appearance of fine white 
porcelain, veined with purple. This embroidery showed 
both skill and taste, and was among themselves highly 
valued. They had belts, large embroidered garters, and 
many other ornaments, formed, first of deer-sinews, 
divided to the size of course thread, and afterwards, 
when they obtained worsted thread from us, of 
that material, formed in a manner which I could never 
comprehend. It was neither knitted nor wrought in the 
manner of net nor yet woven ; but the texture was 
more like that of an officer's sash than any thing I can 
compare it to. While the women and children were 
thus employed, the men sometimes assisted them in the 
more laborious part of their business, but oftener occu- 
pied themselves in fishing on the river, and drying or 
preserving, by means of smoke, in sheds erected for the 
purpose, sturgeon and large eels, which they caught in 
great quantities, and of an extraordinary size, for winter 
provision. ^ -^ ^ 

'' The summer residence of these ingenious artisans 
promoted a great intimacy between the females of the 
vicinity and the Indian women, whose sagacity and 
comprehension of mind were beyond belief. 

'^ It is a singular circumstance, that though they saw 
the negroes in every respectable family not only treated 
with humanity but cherished with parental kindness, 


they always regarded them with contempt and dishke, 
as an inferior race, and would have no communication 
with them. ^ ^ ^ 

' ' The Indian women, who, from motives of attach- 
ment to particular families, or for the purpose of carry- 
ing on the small traffic already mentioned, were wont 
to pass their summers near the settlers, were of detached 
and wandering families, who preferred this mode of 
living to the labor of tilling the ground, which entirely 
devolved upon the women among the Five Nations. 
^ ^ ^ The little [grain] they had was maize ; this with 
kidney-beans and tobacco, the only plants they cul- 
tivated, was sown in some very pleasant fields along the 
Mohawk Eiver by the women, who had no implements of 
tillage but the hoe and a kind of wooden spade. These 
fields lay around their castles, and while the women 
were thus employed, the men were catching and drying 
fish by the rivers or on the lakes. The younger girls 
were much busied during the summer and autumn in 
gathering wild fruits, berries, and grapes, which they 
had a peculiar way of drying to preserve them for the 
winter. The great cranberry they gathered in abund- 
ance, which, without being dried, would last the whole 
winter and was much used by the settlers. These dried 
fruits were no luxury ; a fastidious taste would entirely 
reject them. Yet, besides furnishing another article of 
food, they had their use, as was evident. Without some 
antiseptic, they who lived the whole winter on animal 
food, without a single vegetable, or anything of the na- 
ture of bread, unless now and then a little maize, which 
they had the art of boiling down to softness by lye of 
wood-ashes, must have been liable to the great scourge 
of northern nations in their primitive state, the scurvy, 
had not this simple desert been a preservation against 


it. Eheumatism, and sometimes agues, affected them, 
but no symptom of any cutaneous disease was ever 
seen on an Indian. 

''The stragglers from the confines of the orchards 
did not fail to join their tribes in the winter ; and were 
zealous, and often successful, in spreading their new 
opinions. ^ -^ ^ if you do not insult their belief, (for 
mode of worship they have scarce any,) they will hear 
you talk of yours with the greatest patience and atten- 
tion. Their good-breeding, in this respect, was really 
superlative. No Indian ever interrupted any [one, even] 
the most idle talker ; but when they concluded, he would 
deliberately, methodically, and not ungracefully answer 
or comment upon all they had said, in a manner which 
showed that not a word had escaped him. -^ * ^ 

" The girls in childhood had a very pleasing appear- 
ance ; but excepting their fine hair, eyes, and teeth, 
every external grace was soon banished by perpetual 
drudgery, carrying burdens too heavy to be borne, and 
other slavish employments considered beneath the 
dignity of the men. These walked before, erect and 
graceful, decked with ornaments, which set off to ad- 
vantage the symmetry of their well formed persons, 
while the poor women followed, meanly attired, bent 
under the weight of the children and utensils which 
they carried everywhere with them, and disfigured and 
degraded by ceaseless toils. They were early married : 
for a Mohawk had no other servant but his wife ; and 
whenever he commenced [to be a] hunter, it was requi- 
site that he should have some one to carry his load, cook 
[with] his kettle, make his moccasins, and above all, 
produce the young warriors who were to succeed him 
in his honors of the chase and of the tomahawk."^ 

1 Memoirs of an American lady. pp. 39, 40, 41, 53, 54, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71. 


Great Britain to obtain a revenue from her colonies 
in America sufficient to defray the expenses of their 
government and defence, made them subject to her tax- 
ation by an act of parKament in 1764. Among the 
measures designed to raise the needed money was the 
Stamp act passed in March, 1765, by which the people 
of the colonies were required to use stamped paper sold 
by the British government for their bonds, deeds, notes, 
and other business-papers. The taxed people, being 
denied the right of representation in the parliament 
making these laws, at once denounced them as unjust 
and despotic. In the city of New York, on the first of 
November, 1765, when the Stamp act was to be operative, 
a large number of the citizens manifested their opposi- 
tion to it by burning an effigy of Lieutenant-governor 
Golden, who was at the time administrating the govern- 
ment of the province. This and other significant de- 
monstrations of hostility toward the government of 
Great Britain kept the city in a state of great excite- 
ment for a number of days thereafter. 

Sir William Johnston writing, on the twenty-second 
of November, to the Lords of Trade, from Johnson 
Hall,^ adverts to the commotion caused by the im- 
position of the stamp act: ''The late furious & au- 
dacious behaviour of the New Yorkers, — excited and 
supported by several Persons of Consequence there 
— are doubtless laid before y Lordships by every faith- 
ful servant who dare write and is not afraid that 
his House shall be burned or himself massacred, 
amongst which small number, I beg leave to assure you, 
I am one, & one disinterested, acting on a principle of 
regard to the welfare of the Colonies, well knowing the 
Discords in which they would be speedily involved if 

1 Its site is in Montgomery county. 


they were able to effect that Democratical system which 
is their sole aim, and which they may hereafter compass 
unless a timely check is given to that spirit of Libertin- 
ism & Independence daily gaining ground thro' the 
Artifices & unaccountable conduct of a few pretended 
Patriots." ' 

''The seditious spirit," writes Lieutenant-governor 
Golden to Secretary Conway, on the twenty-first of Feb- 
ruary, 1766, ''has not extended greatly into the Country. 
The city of Albany remained quiet till after their mem- 
bers returned from the Assembly. Then they excited 
most unaccountable riots in that place." These, it ap- 
pears, were not easily suppressed, for a detachment of 
the forty-sixth English regiment was in midsummer, 
1766, sent to quell them. Some of the rioters were then 
arrested, but "the greater part of them," it is said, fled 
into the provinces of Massachusetts and Connecticut, 
where they were "protected by the magistrates," who 
ignored the requisitions sent for their apprehension. ^ 

The inconveniencies attending the lading and unlad- 
ing of vessels anchored off the river bank in front of the 
city were so patent and great that the common council 
on the fourth of March, 1766, unanimously determined 
to erect three stone docks ; the Assembly having pre- 
viously granted the corporation the right to make such 
use of the stone-wall built for defense on the north side 
of the city. The north dock, which was then constructed 
nearly opposite the site of the stone-wall, was eighty 
feet long and forty broad ; the middle one, at the foot of 
Maiden Lane, was eighty feet long and thirty broad ; 
and the south dock, nearly opposite the city-hall, was of 
the same dimensions as the middle dock. The city, it 
seems, built a fourth dock, which with the other three 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vii. p. V90. 

« Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. vii. pp. 812, 849, 910. 


were sold at public vendue on the twenty-eighth of 
March^ 1767, to Gysbert Marselis and John Alen^ for 
seventy pounds, they being permitted to possess them 
until the first of January, 1768, and to charge wharfage 
for the use of them. Should any of the twenty-eight 
sloops belonging to the city refuse to use them and ''so 
be free from paying dockage," a certain deduction was 
to be made from the said sum of money. 

A number of the followers of Ulric Zwingli, the 
Swiss reformer^ having organized a society known as 
the German Eeformed church of Albany, addressed 
a petition to the municipal authorities requesting the 
grant of a piece of ground on the Wouts Bergh, (the 
name of the hill north of the fort,) where they desired to 
build a house of worship. The request was granted^ and 
a deed of the plat was ordered, on the thirteenth of 
October, 1766, to be given to Charles Hoogstrasser, John 
Tilman, John James Abbet and John Freligh. 

The first lodge of Free and Accepted Masons constit- 
uted in Albany was called Union Lodge. Its organiza 
tion, on the twenty-first of February, 1765, was author- 
ized by a warrant from the provincial grand master, 
George Harrison, who installed Peter W. Yates as its 
worshipful master. On the eighteenth of October, 1766, 
the city gave a deed to Samuel Stringer for a plat of 
ground ^' on the Hill near the Fort adjoining the English 
Burying Place," on which to erect a lodge-building. 

The following paragraphs, taken from the by-laws of 
Union lodge, are noteworthy : '^ Every one who shall be 
made a Mason in this Lodge is to pay three pounds 4s 
for the Fund and one Dollar to the Tyler, for which he 
shall be entitled to the three degrees without further ex- 
pence. -^ ^ ^ The Senior warden shall every lodge- 
night acquaint the master when it is ten o'clock, then 


ye lodge is to be closed unless in cases of extra business^, 
and on lodge-evenings no member under a fine of one 
shilling shall have more drink than for six pence in the 
lodge-room without the Master's consent." 

The warrant constituting ^^ William Gamble, Francis 
Joseph von Pfister, Thomas Swords, Thomas Lynott, 
and Richard Cartwright into a Regular Lodge of Per- 
fection, by the name of Ineffable," to be held in Albany, 
was given on the twentieth of December, 1767, by Henry 
Andrew Francken, deputy grand inspector general of all 
the superior degrees of Masons in the West Indies and 
North America. 

A procession of the members of the Union lodge, 
with five of the Ineffable lodge, marched through some 
of the streets of the city on Monday, the twenty-eighth 
of December, 1767 ; its order being : the tyler, musicians, 
apprentices, fellow-craftsmen, two deacons, masters, 
past masters, wardens, secretary, master, masons of the 
ninth degree, masons of the fourteenth degree, princes of 
Jerusalem, and two stewards. 

The members of the Ineffable lodge having sub- 
scribed sums of money for the erection of a lodge-build- 
ing by Union lodge on the ground conveyed by the city 
to Samuel Stringer in 1766, proposed "to the Union 
Lodge that the Ineffable Body should have a joint Right 
into the Building." At this time the lodge of the latter 
was a room in the inn of Richard Cartwright, to whom 
each member paid one shilling every lodge-night for the 
use of it ; the cost of the candles being defrayed by the 
society. The lodge met on Monday nights. In winter 
the meetings began at six o'clock. The overtures made 
to Union lodge were not acceptable to that body, and 
at the meeting of the lodge on the twenty-third of 
February, 1768, ''it was agreed that a proposal from Mr. 


Peter Sharp to Build a Lodge-house agreeably to a plan 
Laid before the Lodge this night should be accepted at 
£300 ; and Bro. Gamble, Stringer and [Jeremiah van] 
Rensselaer engaged to contract for the same upon the 
Lodge engaging to indemnify them as fast as the money 
toward erecting the said Building " was obtained. On 
the following day, Samuel Stringer purchased from the 
Union lodge the lot obtained in 1Y66 from the city, pay- 
ing for it four pounds sterling. On the first of April, 
1768, the city conveyed to Samuel Stringer six feet on 
the east side of the lot, which was seventy feet in 
length on the north side. The erection of the building 
was immediately begun, as it was to be finished accord- 
ing to contract on the twenty-fourth of June. On the 
twelfth, the corner-stone was laid with due Masonic 
formality. Lodge Street derived its name from the build- 
ing that was shortly afterward erected on the northwest 
corner of it and Maiden Lane. 

Master's lodge, number 2, (York Rite) was organized 
in Albany in 1Y68 ; William Gamble being its first mas- 
ter, and Samuel Stringer and Jeremiah van Rensselaer, 
its first wardens. In March, 1768, the lodge made an 
agreement with the Ineffable lodge of Perfection to 
meet on Monday nights, in the new building to be 
erected by the latter. ^ 

The minister, wardens and vestry of St. Peter's church 
having petitioned Sir Henry Moore, the governor of the 
province, for "a charter for the incorporation of the said 
church," were granted the same on the thirteenth of July, 
1768. The Rev. Thomas Brown, having moved in 1768 
from Albany, was succeeded the same year by the Rev. 
Henry Munro, who was rector of the church until 1774. 

1 A condensed history of Mount Vernon lodge No. 3, of ancient York 
Masons, A. L. 5765 to A. 5874. Coll. on hist. Albany. Munsell. vol. iii. 
pp. 411-424. 


The governor having permitted the theatrical com- 
pany playing in New York to act ''for one month only " 
in Albany, the hospital on Pine Street, near the site of 
the Lutheran Church, was fitted up with a stage and 
seats, in June 1769, and the play ''Venice Preserved" 
was announced for the first night, the third of July. 
The leading players of the company were Lewis Hallam, 
jr., John Henry, Mr. WooUs, and Miss Cheer. 

Voyages to the West Indies and to European ports 
by vessels owned by Albany capitalists were common 
in the last half of the eighteenth century. The exports 
were generally flour, fish, lumber, horses, and fruit ; the 
imports were principally rum and sugar from the West 
Indies, and dry goods, queen's-ware and hardware from 
England and Holland. 

In 1771 the city-streets were lighted with twenty oil- 
lamps. Milestones were also placed this year along the 
Schenectady road as far as the half-way-house ; the 
west side of the Dutch church being the point from 
which the measurement of the first mile was made. 
The market-house between the two churches was moved 
this year to the one standing on the north side of the 
Dutch church. 

The population of Albany county, which in 1749 was 
ten thousand six hundred and thirty-four, had increased 
to forty-two thousand seven hundred and six in 1771. 
In the preamble of the act "to divide the county of 
Albany into three counties," passed the twelfth of March, 
1772, the following statement is made respecting the 
object in view : " Whereas the Lands within the County 
of Albany are more extensive than all the other counties 
of this Colony taken together ; and altho' the Inhab- 
tants thereof are already very numerous and continue 
to increase, yet it is conceived that the settlement of the 


County would proceed with much greater rapidity (to 
the vast augmentation of his majesty's revenue and the 
benefit of the Colony) if a suitable partition was made 
of the lands, and new counties erected ; the number of 
Inhabitants, and their great distance from each other 
rendering the administration of justice extremely 
difficult and burdensome ; many people, as County 
officers, Jury Men, Suitors, and Witnesses being obliged 
to travel nearly two hundred miles to the city of Albany, 
where the County Gaol is and where the Courts of Com- 
mon Pleas, Sessions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, 
and General Gaol Delivery are held. 

The county was therefore divided and the counties 
of Tryon and Charlotte erected by the division of its 
territory. ' Charlotte County lay north of Albany Coun- 
ty, between it and Canada. 

By an act of Assembly, passed November 11, 1692, 
two fairs were to be held annually in the city and county 
of Albany. The one in the city was to begin on the third 
Tuesday of July and to end on the following Friday. 
The county fair, to be held at Crawlier, in Eensselaers- 
wyck, was to begin on the third Tuesday in October and 
to end on the following Friday. Each was to be superin- 
tended by a ruler appointed by the governor, and that 

1 The county of Albany was thus bounded in 1772: " On the South 
and on the West Side of Hudson's River, by the County of Ulster, * * * 
On the West by Delaware River [in Delaware County] and the West Branch 
thereof, as far up as a certain small lake called Utsaantho ; [Lake Utsayanthe, 
in the town of Jefferson, Schoharie County ;] and thence by a line north twenty- 
five degrees east, until it be intersected by a West line drawn from the north- 
west corner of the old Schoharie patent ; thence east to the northeast corner of 
the said Schoharie patent ; thence to the northwest corner of the township 
of Duanesburgh ; [the western part of Schenectady County;] thence along 
the north bounds thereof to the northeast corner of the same ; thence on the 
same course with the said north bounds of Duanesburgh to the Mohawk 
River ; thence North until it intersects a West line drawn from Fort George, 
near Lake George ; thence East until it intersects a North line drawn from 
that, nigh [the] Falls on Hudson's river, which lays next above Fort Edward ; 


official was to have the direction of every thing connected 
with the fair. As recited in the act, these fairs were to 
be ^'holden together with a Court of Pypowder, and 
with all the liberties and free customs to such fairs ap- 
pertaining, or which ought or may appertain according 
to the usage and customs of fairs holden in their Majes- 
ties realm of England.'' 

As explained by Blackstone, ^^the lowest and at the 
same time the most expeditious court of justice known 
to the law of England is the court of piepoudre, curia 
pedis pulverizati : so called from the dusty feet of the 
suitors ; or, according to Sir Edward Coke, because jus- 
tice is there done as speedily as dust can fall from the 
foot. Upon the same principle that justice among the 
Jews was administered in the gate of the city, that the 
proceedings might be more speedy as well as public. 
But the etymology given us by a learned modern writer 
is much more ingenious and satisfactory ; it be derived, 
according to him, from pied puldreaux, (a pedlar, in old 
French,) and therefore signifying the court of such petty 
chapmen as resort to fairs or markets. It is a court of 
record, incident to every fair and market, of which the 
steward of him who has or owns the toll of the mar- 
ket is the judge, and its jurisdiction extends to ad- 

thence South to the said Falls ; thence along the East Bank of Hudson's 
river to a certain Creek called Stoney Creek ; [on the east side of Hudson 
River, opposite Fort Miller;] thence East Five Hundred and ten chains ; 
thence South to the North bank of Batten Creek ; thence up along the North 
bank of said creek until the said creek intersects the South bounds of Prince- 
Town ; [now in Vermont,] thence along the same to the southeast corner 
thereof, thence East to the West bounds of the County of Cumberland, [now 
in Vermont ;] thence Southerly and Easterly along the West and South 
bounds thereof to Connecticut river ; thence along the said river to the North 
bounds of the Colonie of Connecticut ; thence along the North and West 
bounds of the same to the County of Dutchess ; thence along the North 
bounds of the said County of Dutchess to Hudson's river ; and thence by a 
straight line to the Northeast corner of the County of Ulster, on Hudson's 
river." — Laws of New York. vol. i. pp. 058, 659. 


minister justice for all commercial injuries done in that 
very fair or market, and not in any preceding one/' 

In 1778 the time of holding the fair at Crawlier in 
the manor of Rensselaerswyck was changed. Thence- 
forth it was to ' ^ be kept on the Tuesday next after the 
tenth day of November annually/' and was to '^continue 
to the evening of Saturday next ensuing.'' It does not 
appear that such fairs were held in Albany County until 
the year 1774, when, on the seventh of November, the 
common council directed the high constable to appoint 
two constables to attend the ferry during the fair. 





The aggrieved people of the province of New York 
beheving that the government of Great Britain had not 
the right to impose taxes on the colonies without their 
consent readily complied with resolution of the Conti- 
nental Congress, which, having met in September, 1774, 
in Philadelphia, recommended the appointment of com- 
mittees to consider and perform such things as were most 
urgent and protective while the political welfare of the 
colonies was imperiled by the oppressive acts of the 
British ministry. The resolute freemen and freeholders 
of the city therefore held a meeting in November and 
appointed a committee of superintendance and corres- 
pondence. John Barclay, an influential and patriotic 
citizen, was chosen its chairman, which important 
position he held nearly three years. The people of the 
county of Albany also constituted committees in their 
respective districts. 

On the twenty-first of March, 1775, at a meeting of 
the committees of the city and county of Albany, in the 
inn of Richard Cartwright, Colonel Philip Schuyler, 
Abraham Yates, jr., Colonel Abraham Ten Broeck, Wal- 
ter Livingston, and Colonel Peter R. Livingston, were 
selected as deputies to represent the city and county at the 



intended Provincial Congress in New York to be con- 
vened on the twentieth of April for the purpose of aj)- 
pointing delegates to represent the province at the next 
Continental Congress in May, in Philadelphia. Colonel 
Philip Schuyler was among the delegates selected to rep- 
resent the province of New Yoi-k in the Continental Con- 

When the exciting news of the engagement at Lex- 
ington, on the nineteenth of April, reached the city, the 
sub-committee of correspondence met at the inn of John 
J. Lansing and resolved " that the following advertise- 
ment should be published through the town : ^' 

' ' Whereas the various accounts that have been re- 
ceived of the extraordinary Commotions both in the 
Pi^ovince of Massachusetts Bay and at New York make 
it indispensably necessary that the sense of the Citizens 
should be taken on the line of Conduct they propose to 
liold in this Critical Juncture, every Person therefore is 
most earnestly intreated to attend at the market-House 
in the third Ward ^ at four o'clock this afternoon [the 
first of May, ] to give his Sentiments. It is expected that 
no Person whatever able to attend will be absent. 

''Secondly. Resolved That the Chairman [Abraham 
Yates, jr., ] sign the several Papers relative to this Day's 

''Thirdly. Resolved That the following Proposals be 
read to the Citizens at their intended meeting this after- 
noon : 

''Are you willing to cor)perate with our Brethren in 
New York and the several Colonies on the Continent in 
their opposition to the Ministerial Plan now prosecuting 
against us i 

5 The market-house was in Market street, now Broadway, a short dis- 
tance north of the Dutch church. 


''Are you willing to appoint Persons to be Conjointly 
with others to be appointed by the Several Districts in 
this County a Committee of Safety, Protection, and Cor- 
respondence, with full Power to Transact all such matters 
as they shall conceive may tend to the weal of th(^ 
American Cause ? 

''If yea, who are the Persons you chuse to appoint T' 

To acquaint the citizens with the important nature of 
this meeting, Lucas Cassiday was sent through the dif- 
ferent streets beating a drum, and at the time appointed 
for the assembling of the people, John Ostrander went 
about the city ringing a bell to notify them to repair to 
the market-house. 

The great concourse of enthusiastic citizens that 
crowded the market-house and the street around the 
building enthusiastically shouted yea to the several 
questions of the committee. A committee of safety, 
protection, and correspondence was then constituted by 
the appointment of the following citizens : Jacob C. 
Ten Eyck, Henry I. Bogart, Peter Silvester, Henry Wen- 
dell, Volkert P. Douw, John Bay, and Grysbert Marselis, 
in the first ward ; John R. Bleecker, Jacob Lansing, jr., 
Jacob Cuyler, Henry Bleecker, Robert Yates, Stephen 
De Lancey, and Abraham Cuyler, in the second ward ; 
John H. Ten Eyck, Abraham Ten Broeck, Grerrit Lan- 
singh, jr., Anthony E. Bratt, Samuel Stringer, Abraham 
Yates, jr., and Cornells van Santvoordt, in the third 

On the same day, the corresponding committee wrote 
as follows to the Boston committee : 

" Gentlemen : — While we lament the mournful event 
which has caused the Blood of our Brethren in the 
Massachusetts Bay to flow, we feel that satisfaction 
which every honest American must experience at the 


glorious stand you have made, [and] we have an ad- 
ditional satisfaction from the consequences which we 
trust will [followj in uniting every American in Senti- 
ments and Bonds which we hope will be indissoluble to 
our Enemies. 

'' This afternoon the Inhabitants of this City convened 
and unanimously renewed their former agreement that 
they would cooperate with our Brethren in New York 
and in the several Colonies on the Continent in their op- 
position to the Ministerial Plan now prosecuting against 
us, and also unanimously appointed a Committee of 
Safety, Protection, and Correspondence, with full power 
to transact all such matters as they shall conceive may 
tend to promote the weal of the American Cause. We 
have the fullest Confidence that every District in this ex- 
tensive County will follow our Example. 

" On the twenty- second Instant a Provincial Congress 
will meet when we have not the least doubt but such 
effectual aids will be afforded you, as will teach Tyrants 
and their Minions that as we were born free, we will live 
and die so, and transmit that inestimable Blessing to 
Posterity. Be assured Gentlemen that nothing on our 
Parts shall be wanting to evince that we are deeply im- 
pressed with a sense of the necessity of Unanimity, and 
that we mean to Cooperate with you in this arduous 
struggle for Liberty to the utmost of our Power." 

The patriotic determination of the people to assert 
their rights by taking up arms to resist the attempts of 
(xreat Britain to coerce them into a corripliance with the 
2)lans of its ministry was further manifested on the 
fourth of May when a large number of the citizens as- 
sembled in the afternoon and formed themselves into 
companies of fifty-one persons ; each company besides 
having this number of privates, had one captain, two 


lieutenants, one ensign, four sergeants, four corporals, and 
one drummer. Of the first company of the first ward, the 
following persons were officers : John Barclay captain, 
John Price and Stephen van Schaick lieutenants, and 
Abraham I. Yates ensign. The officers of the second 
company were : John Williams captain, Henry Staats and 
Barent van Alen lieutenants, and Henry Hogen ensign. 
Those of the third company were : Thomas Bassett cap- 
tain, Abraham Eights and Mattheus Visscher lieutenants, 
and John Hooghkerk ensign. In the third ward the fol- 
lowing persons were officers of the two companies that 
were formed : John Beeckman and Harmanus Wendell 
captains, Isaac De Freest, Abraham Ten Eyck, William 
Hun, and Peter Gansevoort, jr. lieutenants, and Cornelis 
Wendell and Teunis T. van Vechten ensigns. 

The people in the county were earnestly requested to 
form themselves into similar companies to be properly 
equipped and disciplined with all despatch, and to make 
reports through their respective district committees of 
their condition to the chairman of the general committee 
of safety, protection, and correspondence. 

In May, many of the people of the city and county 
signed the following compact : 

" A General Association agreed to and subscribed by 
the Members of the Several Committees of the City and 
County of Albany. 

''Persuaded that the Salvation of the Rights and 
Liberties of America depends under God on the firm 
Union of its Inhabitants in a vigorous prosecution of the 
Measures necessary for its Safety ; and convinced of the 
necessity of preventing Anarchy and Confusion which at 
tend a Dissolution of the Powers of Government, We, the 
Freemen, Freeholders, and Inhabitants of the City and 
County of Albany, being greatly alarmed at the avowed 


Design of the Ministry to raise a Revenue in America ; 
and shocked by the bloody scene now acting in the 
Massachusetts Bay, Do in the most Solemn Manner re- 
solve never to become Slaves ; and do associate under all 
the Ties of Religion, Honor and Love to our Country, to 
adopt and endeavour to carry into Execution whatever 
Measures may be recommended by the Continental Con- 
gress, or resolved upon by our Provincial Convention for 
the purpose of preserving our Constitution, and opposing 
the Execution of the several arbitrary and oppressive 
Acts of the British Parliament until a Reconciliation be- 
tween Great Britain and America on Constitutional 
Principles (which we most ardently desire) can be ob- 
tained : And that we will in all things follow the Advice 
of our General Committee respecting the purposes afore- 
said, the preservation of Peace and good order and the 
safety of Individuals and private Property."^ 

The surrender of the British fort at Ticonderoga, on 
the morning of the tenth of May, to Ethan Allen and his 
one hundred and fifty undisciplined men, gave great hope 
of the success of the cause which had inspirited the at- 
tempt to vindicate the rights of the aggrieved people. To 
retain possession of the large number of cannon and the 
military stores found in the fortress, two companies of 
volunteers were sent to Ticonderoga from Albany. 

The Provincial Congress, sitting in New York, on the 
seventh of June, unanimously resolved to recommend 
Colonel Philip Schuyler as ' ' the most proper person " in 
the colony to be appointed a major-general. On this 
recommendation the Continental Congress on the nine- 
teenth of June appointed him the third major-general in 
the armies of the United Colonies. On the twenty-fifth 

1 Proceedings of the Albany committee of correspondence, 1775-1778. 
MS. in the State library, Albany. 


of the month, Major-general Schuyler arrived at New 
York to take command of the northern department. 

William Tryon, appointed governor of the province 
of New York by the British government, wrote as fol- 
lows from the city of New York, on the fourth of July, 
1775, to the Earl of Dartmouth: ''I arrived in the 
government the 25th of last month with apparent 
satisfaction to the inhabitants of this city, and received 
the next morning the Great Seal of the Province and the 
diminished authority the Lieutenant Grovernor had trans- 
ferred to me. 

' ' The general revolt that has taken place in the 
Colonies has put his Majesty's civil Governors in the 
most degraded situation, [being] left in the exercise of such 
feeble executive Powers as suit the present conveniences 
of the Country, and this dependant on the caprice of a 
moment. To attempt coercive measures by the civil aid 
would hold up [the] Government to additional contempt 
by the exposure of the weakness of the executive and civil 
Branches. '"^ '' '' 

"The communications through the Province, and, I 
understand, through the Continent are stopt. Every 
traveller must have a Pass from some Committee or 
some Congress."^ 

To keep the Indians of the six nations frorn taking a 
part in the hostilities between the colonies and Great 
Britain was a matter of no little diplomacy. To obtain 
from them a promise to withhold themselves as neu- 
trals during the continuance of the war, the Continental 
Congress appointed Major-general Schuyler, Major Joseph 
Hawley, Turbot Francis, Oliver Walcott and Volkert P. 
Douw to treat with the Indians " to preserve peace and 
friendship " with the people of the provinces. In the 

1 Doc. colonial hist. N, Y, vol. viii. pp. 589, 590. 


latter part of August, the Indian commissioners of the 
northern department held conferences in Albany with 
the sachems of the different tribes. Speaking for the 
Continental Congress, the orator of the commissioners 
said : 

*' Brothers, sachems and warriors of the six vmited 
nations, we, the delegates from the twelve united prov- 
inces now sitting in general congress at Philadelphia, 
send this speech to you, our brothers. We are sixty -five 
in number and have been appointed by the people through- 
out all these provinces and colonies to meet and set to- 
gether in one great council to consult together for the 
common good of this land, and to speak and act for 
them. '"■ '^ '^ 

''We will now tell you of the quarrel between the 
counselors of King George and the inhabitants and colo- 
nies of America. Many of his counselors are proud and 
wicked men. They persuaded the king to break the 
covenant chain and not to send us any more good 
speeches. A considerable number have prevailed upon 
him to enter into a new covenant against us, and have torn 
asunder and cast behind their backs the good old cove- 
nant which their ancestors and ours entered into. ^ "'' ^' 

" They tell us now that they will slip their hands into 
our pockets without asking, as if they were their own 
pockets, and will take at their pleasure from us our 
charters, '' '" " our plantations, our houses and 
goods, whenever they please, without asking our per- 
mission. '' "^ '^ 

'' We desire that you will hear and receive what we 
have already told you, and that you will now open a good 
ear and listen to what we shall further say to you. 
This is a family quarrel between us and Old England. 
You Indians are not concerned in it. We do not want 


you to take up the hatchet against the king's troops. 
We desire that you remain at home and join neither 
party, but keep the hatchet deeply buried. ^ '-'' '"' 

*' We are now twelve colonies united as one man. 
We have but one heart and one hand. Brothers, this is 
our union belt. By this belt we, the twelve united colo- 
nies, renew the old covenant chain by which our fore- 
fathers in their great wisdom thought proper to bind us 
and you our brothers of the six nations together when 
they first landed at this place. If any of the links of this 
great chain should have received any rust, we now 
brighten it, and make it shine like silver. As God has 
put it into our hearts to love the six nations and their 
allies, we now make the chain of friendship so strong 
that nothing but an evil spirit can or will attempt to 
break it. But we hope through the favor and the mercy 
of the Good Spirit that it will remain strong and bright 
while the sun shines and the water runs."^ 

These conferences, which were sometimes held in the 
Dutch church and sometimes in the Presbyterian meet- 
ing-house, satisfied the commissioners that the Indians 
could not easily be made the allies of Great Britain. 
While the Indians and the commissioners were engaged 
in making the covenant-chain strong and bright, the 
streets of the city were becoming more thronged with 
soldiers daily arriving to be incorporated in the army of 
the northern department, commanded by General Philip 
Schuyler. Lieutenant-colonel Philip van Cortland, of the 
fourth New York (Dutchess County) regiment, writing 
from Albany on the twenty-eighth of August, 1775, thus 
describes the needy condition of the Continental troops 
that had taken up arms to maintain the rights of the 
United Colonies. 

t Doc. colonial hist. N. Y. vol. viii. pp. 616-619. 


''Dear Sir :— Agreeable to verbal orders received from 
Col [James] Holmes [of the fourth regiment], when last 
in New York, I made all the dispatch in my power to this 
place, where I arrived the 26th inst., finding Capt. Henry 
B. Livingston with his company in a small house in 
town. He wants many things — such as shoes, stockings, 
shirts, under cloths, haversacks and cash, having ad- 
vanced all himself that has been paid his men as yet. 
The day I arrived came up the following captains with 
their companies : Capt. Herrick, Capt. Palmer, Capt. 
Horton and Capt. Mills— all without blankets, excepting 
Capt. David Palmer — many of the men wanting shirts, 
shoes, stockings, under cloths, and in short without any 
thing fit for a soldier, except a uniform coat, and not 
more than thirty guns with four companies fit for service. 

''They are now on board of the small boats that 
brought them up, having no place for them to go into, 
as there is not one tent that I can find for our battalion ; 
and three companies without blankets, and none to bo 
had at this place. I do not know how to act, or what to 
do with them. They began to ask for cash and better 
lodgings, being much crowded in the small boats in which 
I am obliged to keep them. 

" I this morning made application to the committee 
of Albany, who will do all in their power for me, which 
I believe, is but very little. 

"I shall be nmch obliged to the Honorable Congress 
to send me with all convenient speed, arms, blankets, 
tents, shoes, stockings, haversacks, and cash by all 
means. I want to be going forward, where, by what I 
can learn, we shall be wanting if we can go soon, or not 
at all. 

' ' The men say, ' give us guns, blankets, tents, &c. , 
and well fight the devil himself, but do not keep us here 


in market-boats, as though we were a parcel of sheep or 
calves/ 111 short iiothing can give me more pleasure 
than the arrival of the aforesaid articles, until which I 
shall do all in my ]:)ower to keep the men in as good 
order as clubs and canes can keep them, without arms to 
keep a proper guard ; as I have orders from the general 
to collect all the arms together, and send as many men 
off directly to Ticonderoga, (and that without tents), 
which will not be a full company, unless I can purchase 
some arms here/' 

This letter was sent by the Albany committee the 
next day to Peter Van Brugh Livingston, the president 
of the Provincial Congress, sitting in New York. The 
chairman of the committee thus adverts to the assistance 
given to the needy troops : 

''We expected when the army was once organized, 
we should not be so frequently called upon about matters 
not in our provmce. But the situation of Col. Van 
Cortlandt, and the men under his command, in a measure 
obliges us to give him all the assistance in our power — 
not, however, that it is to be made a precedent of. The 
enclosed letter from Col. Van Cortlandt will show you 
the posture he is in, and the necessity of a speedy relief. 
We fear we shall be able to afford him but little assist- 
ance. The hospital and the barracks are filled with In- 
dians attending the congress ; the barns about the town 
loaded with the crops of the season, and the city crowded 
continually with a numerous concourse of people. The 
former and frequent applications for ammunition have 
drained us in short of almost everything of that sort." 

Colonel (xoose van Schaick, commanding the second 
New York (Albany County) regiment thus describes the 
wants of the soldiers at Albany in a letter written the 
same day to the Provincial Congress : ''I am at present 


stationed in Albany by Gen. Schuyler to forward the troops 
that arrive here to Ticonderoga, and it gives me pain to in- 
form you that Col. [James] Clinton | commanding the third 
New York (Ulster County) regiment) arrived here with 
the other field officers and six companies of his battalion, 
five of which are armed,- but [their guns 1 in bad repair. 
They have been supplied with blankets at this ])lace — 
other necessaries are wanted. ^ ''" '-' 

''I should ever accuse myself of inhumanity and want 
of love to my country should I be backward in giving 
you a true account of the situation and distress of these 
companies, when I consider how much they are wanted 
at the forts above. I therefore look up to you, and beg- 
that you will, without delay, send up such or so many 
arms, tents, blankets and other necessaries, as will sup- 
ply those companies so that they may be forwarded with 
the greatest dispatch. 

"1 must also inform you the men are much discon- 
tented for want of their pay, and I do assure you that 
the service greatly suffers. There is scarce anything to 
be heard in the camp but mutinies. I have for that pur- 
pose wrote to Mr. Jonathan Trumbull, jr., who, I am in- 
formed, is appointed deputy- pay master-general. '-* ''' ^ 

' ' I am very happy, however, to inform you that 
notwithstanding the clamors and discontents of my men 
at first, there are at present nine of my companies up at 
Ticonderoga, with the other two field officers ^ in ac'tUal 
service, and the last will march to-morrow.''- 

The Indians having received presents as on former 
occasions when they bound themselves to keep their cove- 
nants with the representatives of the people of the prov- 
inces returned to their castles. An epidemic shortly 

1 Of the second regiment, Peter Yates was lieutenant-colonel, and Peter 
Gansevoort, jr., major. 

2 Proceedings of the Albany committee. 


afterward greatly lessened the numerical strength of 
their tribes. This fatal disease the agents of King George 
made them believe was a scourge of the Great Spirit who 
was angry with them for not taking up the hatchet for 
the king, for had not the colonists taught them 
''to fear God and to honor the king." By such de- 
ceptive arts were many of the tribes of the six nations 
induced to become the allies of Great Britian during the 

In September, General Schuyler having received in- 
structions to invade Canada, moved with the army of 
the northern department to the Isle an Noix near the 
confluence of the River Chambly and the Grande Riviere 
du Sud, north of Lake Champlain. Here becoming ex- 
tremely ill, he was compelled to intrust the command of 
the army to General James Montgomery, who captured 
the forts at St. Johns and Chambly, and in Novem- 
ber, took possession of Montreal. After the return of 
General Schuyler to Albany and his convalescence, he 
received orders to proceed to Johnson Hall in Tryon 
County and to disarm the tories under Sir John Johnson, 
and to obtain possession of all the military stores that he 
might find there. This mission General Schuyler suc- 
cessfully accomplished in January, 1776, with a force of 
about two thousand militia. In March, the Continental 
Congress ordered him to make Albany his headquarters, 
and to forward to Canada such supplies as were needed 
there by the army under General Montgomery. In June, 
Colonel Goose Van Schaick, who was then in command 
of the fifth New York regiment, as designated in the re- 
cent re-organization of the provincial troops, had detach- 
ments of his battalion at different points between Albany 
and Lake Champlain. 

It would seen) that the municipal officers, who, on 


the fourteenth of October, 1775, had taken the '' oaths of 
supremecy and allegiance '' to King George III., and had 
subscribed their names to '^the test," were deposed from 
their official position in the latter part of March, 177^). 
It is related that the mayor, Abraham C. Cuyler, and a 
number of other citizens honoi^ed King George III. , on 
his birthday, the fourth of June, in 1776, by assembling 
in the dining-room of Cart Wright's inn, and partaking of 
a banquet prepared at their expense. While these 
Tories were singing ^^God save the king," a number 
of provincial patriots entered the room and forcibly 
ejected the partisans of George III. Some of these de- 
fiant Tories it is said were arrested by the orders of the 
committee of safety and lodged in the jail already 
crowded with other aiders and abettors of those uphold- 
ing the authority of Great Britain. 

On the ninth of July, the Provincial Congress of the 
colony of New York, began its sessions at White Plains. 
Having approved the Declaration of Independence, ^ the 
coDgress ordered it to be published throughout the prov- 
ince. On the fourteenth of July, Abraham Yates, jr., 
Eobert Yates, and Matthew Adgate sent a copy of the im- 
portant document to the Albany committee of corres- 
pondence. On the afternoon of the eighteenth of July, 
the day after its reception, the committee, sitting in the 
city-hall, took the following action : 

'^Resolved that the Declaration of Independence be 
published and declared in this City to-morrow at Eleven 
O'clock at this place, and that Col. Van Schaick be re- 
quested to order the Continental Troops in this City to 
appear under arms at the place aforesaid, and Farther 
that the Captains of the several Militia Companies in this 

1 Philip Livingston, who signed the Declaration of Independence, was 
born in Albany, January 15, 1716. The residence of the Livingston family 
was on the northwest corner of State and North Pearl street. 


City be requested to warn the Persons belonging to their 
respective Companies to appear at the place aforesaid/' 

On Friday morning, the nineteenth of July, at the ap- 
pointed hour, a great throng of citizens and soldiers filled 
the streets, now Hudson Avenue and Broadway, at their 
intersection at the city-hall, a three-story stone building, 
occupying the site of the Commercial Building. ^ The 
memorable event has this brief mention in the minutes 
of the committee : '^Pursuant to a Resolution of yester- 
day, the Declaration of Independence was this day read 
and published at the City Hall to a large Concourse of 
the Inhabitants of this City and the Continental Troops 
in this City and received with applause and satisfaction." 
''The Provincial Congress of the colony of New York " 
after the reception of the Declaration of Independence 
changed the name of the body to the '^ Convention of the 
representatives of the state of New York/' and on the first 
of August appointed a committee to report a constitution 
for the state. - On the twelfth of March, 17Y7, the com- 
mittee presented a draft of a constitution, which on the 
twentieth of April was adopted by the convention. 
Under the new constitution, Brigadier-general George 
Clinton was elected, on the third of July, governor of the 

The invasion of the state by the British commander, 
General John Burgoyne, from Canada, with an army of 

1 The Assembly on the twenty-ninth of October, 1740, passed " an act 
to enable the mayor, recorder and aldermen of the city of Albany and the 
justices of the peace of the said city and county to build a new court-house 
and gaol for the said city and county." On the twenty-ninth of April, 1743, 
another act was passed to enable the officers named in the former act " to 
raise ;^400 to finish and complete " the buildings. From these acts it would 
seem that the city-hall was erected in 1741, 1742, and 1743. 

- The persons composing the committee were : John Jay, John Sloss 
Hobart, William Smith, William Duer, Gouverneur Morris, Robert R. Liv- 
ingston, John Broome, John Morin Scott, Abraham Yates, jr., Henry Wis- 
ner, sr., Samuel Townsend, Charles DeWitt, and Robert Yates. James 
Duane was afterwards added to the committee. 


about eight thousand toops, which force was afterward 
augmented by about four hundred Indians of the six 
nations, spread great alarm among the people of the 
northern frontier. Genei-al Schuyler, having retreated to 
Saratoga, wrote, on the first of August, to the committee 
of safety, saying : ''I have been on horseback all day, 
reconnoitering the country for a place to encamp on. that 
will give us a chance of stopping the enemy's career. I 
have not yet been able to find a spot that has the least 
prospect of answering the purpose, and I believe you will 
soon learn that we are retired still farther south." 

At this time General Burgoyne had his headquarters 
at Fort Edward. He had been ordered, when he left 
Canada, to form a junction with that part of the British 
army commanded by Sir William Howe ; five thousand 
men under Sir Henry Clinton being stationed in and 
around the city of New York. Gen Burgoyne, confiident 
that the Continental troops could not successfully oppose 
the progress of his large army, informed General Howe, 
in his report of the sixth of August, that he was '' well 
forward,'' ''impatient to gain the mouth of the Mo- 
hawk," but not likely ''to be in possession of Albany," 
before "the 22d or 28d " of the month. 

General Schuyler, having retreated from Saratoga to 
Stillwater, wrote to General Washington, on the fifth of 
August, to acquaint him with the weak condition of the 
army of the northern department : "By the unanimous 
advice of all the general officers, I have moved the army 
to this place Here we propose to fortify a camp, in ex- 
pectation that reinforcements will enable us to keep the 
ground and prevent the enemy from penetrating further 
into the country ; but if it should be asked from whence 
I expe(*t these reinforcements, I should be at a loss for an 
answer, not having heard a word from Massachusetts on 



my repeated application, nor am I certain that Connecti- 
cut will afford us any success. 

'^'Our Continental force is daily decreasing by deser- 
tion, sickness, and loss in skirmishes with the enemy, 
and not a man of the militia now with me will remain 
above one week longer, and while our force is diminish- 
ing that of the enemy augments by a constant acquisition 
of tories ; but if, by any means, we could be put in a 
situation for attacking the enemy and giving them a re- 
pulse, their retreat would be extremely difficult, that in 
all probability they would lose the greater part of their 

General Burgoyne to supply his army with the means 
of transportation and provisions, sent Lieutenant-colonel 
Baum, on the eleventh of August, to Bennington, where 
he had been informed that the Americans had collected 
a large number of horses, wagons, and stores of all kinds 
for the use of the Continental troops. He instructed 
Baum to proceed along the Connecticut River as far as 

1 On " a return of a brigade of militia of the county of Albany, whereof 

Abraham Ten Broeck, esq., is brigadier-general," dated Fort Edward, July 
18, Mil, the following named regiments and the number of the men in them 
appears : 

Col. Jacob Lansing's regiment, rank and file, _ . _ i\2 

Abraham Wimple's " " - - - 182 

Francis Nicholl's " " - - - - 69 

Killian van Rensselaer's " " - - -90 

Gerrit Van den bergh's " " - - - - 42 

Stephen J. Schuyler's " " - - - 151 

Robert van Rensselaer's " " - - - - 109 

Abraham van Alstyne's " " - - - 86 

Peter van Ness's " " - - - - 228 

Peter R. Livingston's 
Anthony van Borgen's 
Jacobus van Schoonhoven's 
John McCrea's 
Johannes Knickerbacker's 
Peter Vrooman's 
William B. Whiting's 






Total, - - - . 1.755 


Brattleborough, and return by the great road to Albany, 
where he would meet him with the main army. Lieuten- 
ant-colonel St. Leger, who had been sent from Canada to 
invade the valley of the Mohawk by way of Oswego, 
and to get in the i*ear of the forces under Greneral 
Schuyler, was then laying siege to Fort Stanwix, on the 
site of the village of Rome. On the thirteenth of 
August, General Benedict Arnold was ordered by Greneral 
Schuyler to hasten to the relief of Fort Stanwix with 
about eight hundred militiamen. The same day General 
Schuyler wrote to General Washington, saying : 

' ' We are obliged to give way and retreat before a 
vastly superior force daily increasing in numbers, and 
which will be doubled if Gen. Burgoyne reaches Albany, 
which I apprehend will be very soon.'' 

The next day, the despondent general with his small 
force retreated on the old road on the west bank of the 
Hudson to the mouths of the Mohawk, and encamped 
his men upon Haver and Van Schaick islands. 

General Schuyler's retreat to the islands at the con- 
fluence of the Mohawk with the Hudson was interpreted 
by many as evidence of his inefficiency and want of cour- 
age. But this assumption had nothing to substantiate 
it. The truth was his army was short of ammunition, 
nnmerically weak, and daily reduced by sickness and 
desertions. A paragraph from a letter written in July by 
General Schuyler to Colonel Lewis, deputy-quartermaster 
general, in Albany, discloses an important fact respecting 
a pressing want that was not easily supplied : 

^' The citizens of Albany only can supply our immedi- 
ate exigencies ; recourse must therefore be had to the 
committee, begging their interposition to collect such 
lead as is in the city ; the lead windows and weights 
may, perhaps, afford a supply for the present. As soon 


as it is collected, Mr. Rensselaer will have it made into 
ball, and send it up without a moment's delay. Should 
a wagon be sent off with one box, as soon as it is ready 
it must be pushed off ; also all the buck shot." 

Writing about the same time to General Washington, 
he says : ' ' Desertion prevails and disease gains ground ; 
nor is it to be wondered it, for we have neither tents, 
houses, barns, boards, or any shelter except a little brush; 
every rain that falls, and we have it in great abundance 
almost every day, wets the men to the skin. We are be- 
sides in great want of every kind of necessaries, provisions 
excepted. Camp kettles we have so few, that we cannot 
afford one to 20 men." 

Aware of his inability to oppose the advance of the 
British army, he therefore determined to retreat from the 
immediate front of the enemy, and to move his troops 
nearer to his base of supplies, where he could more ad- 
vantageously watch the movements of Lieutenant-colonel 
St. Leger, and, perhaps, defeat the plans of the sanguine 
commander of the main body of English and Hessian 
soldiery. Immediately upon his occupation of Haver and 
Van Schaick's islands. General Schuyler gave orders for 
the construction of a formidable line of earth- works along 
the northeastern and northwestern sides of Haver Is- 
land, to defend the approaches to the fords at Half Moon 
Point, as the site of the present village of Waterf ord was 
then called. The chief engineer of the army of the 
northern department was the brave Pole, Thaddeus 
Kosciusko. Under his superintendence and direction the 
soldiers, both white and black, diligently dug and 
shovelled during the hot days of August to construct the 
line of earth- works which still remain as monuments to 
remind those who inspect them of the arduous toil of the 
defenders of Albany in the summer of 1777. 


Meanwhile the city was a place of refuge for the peo- 
ple of the country overrun by the invading army. The 
fleeing farmers who with their frightened households 
and driven cattle hastened to Albany, brought daily to 
its inhabitants direful accounts of the vandal acts and 
inhuman cruelties of the British troops and the Indian 
allies. The committee of safety to provide pasture for 
the cattle of the country-people sojourning in the city, 
ordered on the fourth of August that the ' ' large Tract 
of Pasture Ground," belonging to certain Tories who had 
joined the army of the enemy, should be used for the 
grazing of the cattle of the refugees. 

To silence the clamor of those who deemed General 
Schuyler unfit to have the command of the army of the 
northern department, the congress of the United States 
appointed Major-general Horatio Gates to be com- 
mander-in chief of it. Three days after taking command 
of the army, General Gates wrote from his headquarters 
in the Van Schaick homestead, on Van Schaick Island, 
the following letter to General Washington : 

'^ Headquarters, Aug. 22, 1777.— Sir : Upon my ar- 
rival in this department I found the main body of the 
army encamped upon Van Schaick's Island, which is 
made by the sprouts of the Mohawk River joining with 
Hudson River, nine miles north of Albany. A brigade 
under Gen. Poor encamped at Loudon's ferry, on the 
south bank of the Mohawk River, five miles from hence ; 
a brigade under Gen. Lincoln had joined Gen. Stark at 
Bennington, and a brigade under Arnold marched the 
^5th inst, to join the militia of Tryon County, to raise 
the siege of Fort Stanwix. 

' ' Upon leaving Philadelphia, the prospect this way 
appeared very gloomy ; but the severe checks the enemy 
have met with at Bennington and Tryon County have 


given a more pleasing view to public affairs. Particular 
accounts of the signal victory gained by Gen. Stark, and 
the severe blov^ Gen. Herkimer gave Sir John Johnson 
and the scalpers under his connnand, have been trans- 
mitted to your excellency by Gen. Schuyler. I anxiously 
expect the arrival of an express from Gen. Arnold, with 
an account of the total defeat of the enemy in that quar- 
ter. By my calculation he reached Fort Stanwix the day 
before yesterday. Cols. [Henry Beekman] Livingston's 
[the fourth New York] and [Philip van] Courtlandt's [the 
second New York] regiments arrived yesterday, and 
immediately joined Gen. Poor's division. I shall also 
order General Arnold, upon his return, to march to that 

" I cannot sufficiently thank your excellency for send- 
ing Col. Morgan's corps to this army. They will be of the 
greatest service to it, for until the late successes this way, 
I am told the army was quite panic-struck by the Indians 
and their tory and Canadian assassins in Indian dresses. 
Horrible, indeed, have been the cruelties they have 
wantonly committed upon many of the miserable in- 
habitants, insomuch that it is now fair for Gen. Bur- 
goyne even if the bloody hatchet he has so barbarously 
used should find its way into his own head. 

''Gov. Clinton will be here to-day. Upon his arrival 
I shall consult with him and Gen. Lincoln upon the 
best plan to distress, and I hope finally to defeat the 
enemy. '^' '^ *^" 

''My scouts and spies inform me that the enemy's 
headquarters and main body are at Saratoga, [Schuyler- 
ville,] and that they have lately been repairing the 
bridges between that place and Stillwater. " 

The rifle-corps of Colonel Daniel Morgan arrived at 
Van Schaick's Island a few days thereafter. The army, 


by these and other accessions, was at the beginning of 
September an effective force of about six thousand men. 
Having obtained some needed munitions, Greneral Gates 
moved north with it on the eighth of September, and on 
the following day arrived at Stillwater. 

To comply with the urgent demand of (leneral Gates 
for bullets, the committee of safety on the eighteenth of 
September ''resolved that the Quarter Master and the 
Committee appointed to take the Lead out of the Win- 
dows do immediately enter upon that necessary busi- 
ness." The engagement at Bemus's Heights, and the 
subsequent surrender of Burgoyne, at Saratoga, now 
Schuylerville, on the seventeenth of October, unexpect- 
edly defeated the plans of Great Britain of ending the 
war by getting possession of the cities of Albany and 
New York. 

The news of the surrender of General Burgoyne was 
received with the wildest demonstrations of joy by the 
anxious citizens who had heard the sounds of the cannon 
fired at Saratoga. The event was celebrated by a pro- 
cession, the firing of cannon, the rmging of bells, the 
roasting of an ox, and at night by an illumination of the 
windows of the houses and a great bonfire on Gallows 

Although by General Burgoyne's orders General 
Schuyler had lost by fire his dwelling-house, store - 
bouses, and saw-mills at Saratoga, nevertheless, with 
marked courtesy, when introduced to the British officer 
after the signing of the papers of capitulation, he told 
the distinguished commander, who then expressed his 
regrets for having caused the destruction of the property, 
'^to think no more of it, and that the occasion justified 
it according to the principles and rules of war. " Gen- 
eral Burgoyne, in his speech to the House of Commons 


in 1778, adverted to this remarkable evidence of General 
Schuyler's magnanimity, and said: ''He did more, he 
sent an aid-de-camp to conduct me to Albany, in order, 
as he expressed it, to procure better quarters than a 
stranger might be able to find. That gentleman con- 
ducted me to a very elegant house, and, to my great 
surprise, presented me to Mrs. Schuyler and her family. 
In that house I remained during my whole stay in Al- 
bany, with a table with more than twenty covers for me 
and my friends, and every other possible demonstration 
of hospitality." Not to subject himself to any invidious 
aspersions, General Schuyler, while General Burgoyne 
was a guest in his house in Albany, remained at Sara- 
toga. The Schuyler mansion, in which the British officer 
was entertained, is still standing at the head of Schuyler 
Street, on the southwest corner of Clinton and Catharine 
streets. It is related that when General Burgoyne with 
the officers of his staff, arrived on horse back in 
Albany that a great crowd of boys gathered round 
them and cried out, ''Make elbow room there," which 
phrase, the chronicler explains, was "the Rejoycing 

The municipal government having lost the power of 
its perpetuity by the institution of the committee of 
safety, protection and correspondence in 1775, the people 
of the city were empowered by the legislature, on the 
seventeenth of February, 1778, to re-organize it con- 
formable to "an act to remove doubts concerning the 
corporation of the city of Albany." On the seventeenth 
of April, 1778, John Barclay, having a commission under 
the great seal of the state of New York appointing him 
mayor, clerk of the markets and coroner of the city ; and 
Abraham Yates, jr., having a commission under the seal 
of the state appointing him recorder of the city ; and 


Matthew Visscher, having also a commission appointing 
him town-clerk, also clerk of the Mayor's Court, and of 
the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for the city and 
county of Albany, and also clerk of the Peace and of the 
Court of Sessions of the Peace and for the said city and 
county ; and John Price and John Roorbach, having 
been elected aldermen, and Abraham I. Yates and Mat- 
thew Visscher assistant aldermen, in the first ward ; and 
Jacob Lansing, jr., and Abraham Cuyler having been 
elected aldermen, and Isaac D. Fonda and Jacob 
Bleecker, assistant aldermen, in the second ward ; and 
John M. Beeckman and Harmanus Wendell, having 
been elected aldermen, and Cornelius Swits and Abraham 
Schuyler, assistant aldermen, in the third ward, all these 
officers, except Harmanus Wendell, being present in the 
city-hall, took the oath of allegiance to the state of New 
York as prescribed by law, and also their respective oaths 
of office as prescribed by the charter of the city. On the 
twenty -first of April, Thomas Seegerwas appointed mar- 
shal, and on the twenty-third, Henry Bleecker chamber- 
lain of the city. Harmanus Wendell having refused to 
accept the office of alderman, Doctor Samuel Stringer, 
who had been surgeon -general under General Schuyler, 
was elected in May to fill the vacancy. 

In the ordinance for regulating tavern-keepers in the 
city made by the common council on the twenty -fifth of 
April, the following rates and prices were established for 
the taverns, ale-houses, v^ictualing houses, inns, and 
ordinaries: ''Good West India Rum, genuine French 
brandy, Holland Geneva, Lisbon, Sherry, Port, red and 
white Mountain French Claret, conunon soi't, French 
white Wine, Spanish red Wine, Rhenish, at ten shillings 
per quart, and one shilling and four pence per gill. Ameri- 
can made Whiskey, four shillings and four pence per quart 


and seven cents per gill. Good New England Eum, 
Brandy, Geneva, common Cordials and all other Spirit- 
uous Liquors not herein mentioned, at six shillings and 
nine pence per quart, and one shilling per gill. Good 
Toddy of West India Rum, French Brandy, or Holland 
Geneva, sweetened with Loaf Sugar, at three shillings per 
quart Bowl and so in proportion. Good Toddy of other 
Liquors (whiskey excepted), at two shillings per quart 
Bowl and so in proportion. Strong Beer and Cyder, 
brewed or made in the state, one shilling per quart. 

"For a Breakfast of comfortable and nourishing 
Victuals, two shillings per Meal ; for Dinner equally 
suitable, three shillings and six pence per Dinner. For 
twenty-four hours or one Night good Hay and Stabling 
for a Horse, two shillings ; for Oats four pence per quart, 
Corn per quart six pence, and other Grain in proportion. 
For a good clean Bed and Bedding one Night, one shil- 

General Abraham Ten Broeck, having received a letter 
from Brigadier- general Stark, informing him that the 
troops in the city were ordered to Fishkill, the board of 
aldermen thus wrote on the twentieth of May, 1T78, to 
the latter officer : 

''The Conmion Council beg leave to observe that they 
consider themselves in duty bound to inform you that 
from the weakness of the Militia in this City, owing to 
the Number in public Service, it will not be safe to leave 
the Stores, Provisions, Hospital, Sloops and Vessels, the 
Regular and other Prisoners, the latter exceeding one 
hundred, besides the disaffected in and about the City, to 
so small a number as one hundred and fifty, the whole 
number of Militia that are subject to military duty. For 
should an accident happen by means of the disaffected 
in destroying the Stores or in discharging the Prisoners, 


ten whereof are now under Sentence of Death, it would 
distress not only the City but the Service of the Conti- 
nent in general. '" ''' '^' 

''The Common Council farther beg leave to observe 
that in case your Honour cannot detain one of the Regi- 
ments stationed here that at least one hundred and fifty 
men ought to be detained." 

A letter was also addressed to Major-general (rates on 
the same subject, in which the board of aldermen made 
this statement : 

'* The Common Council would further beg leave to 
observe that the many Robberies and Murders daily com- 
mitted on the Inhabitants of this County by Deserters 
and Prisoners from Burgoyne's Army and the disaffected, 
who are drove to desperation, render it indispensably 
necessary to have a Body of Troops to go in quest of the 
Villians, for unless the Militia can remain this year at 
home and properly manage their Summer crops little or 
no support of Flour can the Continent derive from this 
part, last year more than one half [was] destroyed and 
not more than half the usual quantity sowed. '" ''" ''' 

''If the British Prisoners could be moved to another 
place it would break up the connection which is now ap- 
prehended is kei)t up between them, the Tories, and 

The request of the common council could not l)e com- 
plied with, and all the Continental troops, were transported 
in June to Fishkill. When in September the authorities 
learned that it was I'eported that two thousand troops 
were to be stationed in the city during the winter, the 
board of aldermen wrote to (xovernor Clinton explaining 
to him the motives of the members desiring that the city 
might not be put to the expense of providing for so large 
a number of soldiers. 


'^ From this state of Facts we beg leave to inform 
your Excellency that however willing we have always 
been and still are to risk our all in supporting the Free- 
dom and Independence of our blessed Country, yet it is 
our earnest request (and we deem it no more than reas- 
onable) that in the distribution of the Troops for Winter 
Quarters, due respect may be had to the former distresses 
and present sufferings of the Inhabitants of Albany and 
its Suburbs. And as there are Barracks in this place which 
may contain about four hundred troops exclusive of an 
Hospital which will contain eight hundred, tho' we pre- 
sume the latter will be appropriated for the use of the 
sick, we would deem it equitable that no more troops 
may be allotted to us than the Barracks and Hospital (if 
not used as such) may contain." 

A number of the inhabitants of the city and county 
of Albany desiring to have their children receive a higher 
education than that obtainable in the schools that were 
then in Albany, petitioned the common council, in April, 
1779, that they might be permitted to establish in the 
city a Seminary to be under the protection, direction, and 
care of the board of aldermen. The authorities willingly 
complied and letters were written to George Merchant of 
Philadelphia, offering him the position of principal of the 
institution. He accepted the offer and the academy 
was opened by him for the reception of scholars, on 
Monday, the sixteenth of November, in the peculiar- 
ly-built house historically known as the ''Vanderhey- 
den Palace," near the southwest corner of North Pearl 
Street and Maiden Lane, now the site of the Perry build- 
ing. A few weeks thereafter Suel Chapin was given 
the position of ^* usher or second master in the Semi- 
nary." In 1797, the building, which had been used for 
almost a score of years for educational purposes, was 



then occupied as a residence by its owner, Jacob van 
der Hey den. 

The legislature of the state of New York was first 
convened at Kingston in 1777 ; the assembly beginning 
its sessions on the first day of September, and the senate 
on the ninth day of that month. The capture of Fort 
Montgomery by the British, and their advance up 
the Hudson caused the legislature to adjourn in 
the beginning of October.^ In January, 1778, the 
legislature convened at Poughkeepsie, and completed the 
organization of the state government. In August, 1779, 
it again assembled at Kingston. 

The first meeting of the legislature in Albany was in 
accordance with a joint resolution of the senate and as- 
sembly, passed at Kingston, on the twenty-fifth of 
October, 1779. On the first day of December, Governor 
Clinton, in a proclamation, designated the fourth day of 
January, 1780, for the senate and the assembly to meet 
in the city, but on account of ^^a deep fall of snow " and 
the inclemency of the weather, the two bodies did not 
assemble until the twenty-seventh day of January. A 
number of the rooms in the court-house, or city- hall, on the 
northeast corner of Hudson and Court streets,^ were 
suitably furnished for the use of the legislature, which 
adjourned on the fourteenth of March. On the seven- 
teenth of January, 1781, it again convened in Albany, 
and held its sessions in the city-hall until the thirty-first 
of March, the day of its adjournment. The legislature 
did not meet again in the city until the sixth of July, 

1 The assembly began its sessions on the first of September and ad- 
journed on the first of October. The senate met on the ninth of September 
and adjourned on the seventh of October. Kingston was burned by the 
British, on the fifteenth of October. 

2 Court Street was that part of Broadway which extends from State Street 
to the Steamboat-landing. 


1789, when after a session of ten days it resolved to 
to adjourn. 

The current rumor, in the fall of 1781, that the British 
designed to burn the city caused the municipal authori- 
ties to exercise extreme caution in the admission of 
strangers into it. It is also related that a large reward 
was offered for the capture of the members of the com- 
mittee of safety, and that several unsuccessful attempts 
were made to secure the persons of General Schuyler, 
Colonel Phihp van Eensselaer, Colonel Peter Gansevoort, 
and of other prominent men, who were to be carried to 
Canada to be held as prisoners of war. 

The publication of the first newspaper printed in the 
city was begun in November, 1771, by Alexander and 
James Eobertson, who had moved from the city of New 
York and established a printing-office in Albany. The 
publishers of the small quarto-sheet named the paper 
the Albany Gazette, a few copies of which are in the 
library of the Albany Institute. It is not known when 
the publication of the paper was discontinued, but, as the 
publishers of it were named among the Royalists in the 
city of New York in 1776, it has been conjectured that 
the printing of the paper ceased about the beginning of 
the revolution. 

The second newspaper published in Albany was The 
New York Gazetteer, or, Northern Intelligencer. Solomon 
Balentine and Charles R. Webster, under the firm-name 
of Balentine and Webster, began its publication on the 
third of June, 1782. The dimensions of the pages of the 
little folio are nine and one half by fourteen inches. A 
number of copies of the paper are in the library of the 
Albany Institute. In 1783, Charles R. Webster withdrew 
from the partnership and moved to New York. The puli- 
lication of the paper, it is supposed, ceased in May, 1781. 


General Washington's visit to Albany, on Thursday, 
the twenty-seventh of June 1782, was an occasion of no 
little joy to the people. At six o'clock in the evening, 
the city authorities waited on his excellency, and after 
the delivery of a short address of welcome, presented him 
with the freedom of the city, the document being con- 
tained in a gold-box. The bells of all the churches were 
then rung until eight o'clock when a salute of thirteen 
guns was fired at fort. At night the city was illumi- 

The news of the signing of the provisional articles of 
peace, between Great Britain and the United States of 
America, on the thirteenth of November, 1782, was re- 
ceived in the city, on the twenty-seventh of March, 1783. 
The board of aldermen to communicate the exciting in- 
telligence to the citizens immediately ordered the public 
cryer to notify them to convene at the city-hall to hear 
the contents of the letter read. The municipal authori- 
ties also ordered that the messenger who brought it 
should ' ' be presented with five pounds as a reward for 
his assiduity and dispatch." 

When it was learned, on the eighteenth of July, that 
General Washington and Governor Clinton would be in 
city on the following day, the common council appointed 
Peter W. Yates and Matthew Visscher, aldermen of the 
first ward, to prepare addresses to be delivered to their 
excellencies. Abraham Schuyler and Leonard Ganse- 
voort of the third ward were appointed '* to repair to the 
Hogebergh and there wait the arrival " of the distin- 
guished personages, and afterward to inform the board 
of the time designated for the reception of the city's 
guests. The invitation by the common council to Gen- 
eral Washington and to Governor Clinton to a public 
dinner was accepted. At eleven o'clock, on the morning 


of the nineteenth of July, the city-officers went in a 
body to the inn of Hugh Denniston, where the fohowing 
address was presented to the coramandei'-in-chief of the 
United States army : 

''We, the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the 
City of Albany, with the sincerest pleasure avail our- 
selves of this opportunity to offer your Excellency our 
most cordial Congratulations on the formal Recognition 
of the Independence of the United States by that Power 
which has so long anxiously laboured to subvert it. The 
Citizens of America and their Posterity will ever have 
abundant reason to commemorate the day when your 
Excellency was appointed to the Chief Command of her 
Forces, in the faithful discharge of which you have sac- 
rificed your private ease and interest to the public weal 
and evinced to the world that you have been the faithful 
guardian of the Liberties of your Country. 

" Under the Smiles of Providence, with a brave and 
victorious Army, aided by a great and generous Ally, 
you have saved America from Bondage, restored to her 
the peaceable enjoyment of her civil Rights and laid a 
solid Foundation for the Freedom and Independence of 
the United States. Receive, Sir, our sincere wish that 
you may in the Bosom of your Country enjoy the Tran- 
quility which your Toils have purchased and look forward 
with patriotic Pleasure to those ages of Prosperity which 
we may reasonably hope wiU be confirmed in endless 
succession by the Wisdom and Harmony of her Councils.'' 
His excellency was pleased to return the following 
answer to the address : 

'^To the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the 
City of Albany, 

" Gentlemen : I accept with heartfelt satisfaction 
your affectionate congratulations on the restoration of 


Peace and the formal recognition of the Independence of 
the United States. We may indeed ascribe these most 
happy and glorious Events to the smiles of Providence 
and the virtue of our Citizens and the bravery of our 
Troops aided by the powerful interposition of our mag- 
nanimous and illustrious ally. 

''For the favorable sentiments you are pleased to 
express of my agency in this Revolution and for your 
benevolent wishes for my personal felicity^ I intreat you. 
Gentlemen, to receive my warmest acknowledgments. 

" While I contemplate with irrepressible pleasure the 
future tranquility and glory of our common Country, I 
cannot but take a particular interest in the anticipation 
of the increase in prosperity and greatness of this antient 
and respectable City of Albany, from whose Citizens I 
have received such distinguished tokens of their appro- 
bation and affection."^ 

1 Albany records, 1782, 1783. 




The impoverished condition in which the revolution- 
ary war left the people of the thirteen states was not so 
disheartening as to repress the quickening spirit of the 
industry and thrift of those who had so recently ob- 
tained a political independence that was to make them 
famous throughout the world. The people of Albany, 
diligent and acquisitive, actively engaged in merchan- 
dizing and commerce. The merchants with judicious 
enterprise stocked their stores with large and saleable 
assortments of goods and wares. For these they often 
received grain and other productions from their country 
customers, which articles they shipped to foreign mar- 
kets, whence they imported such commodities as were 
readily sold by them. 

Many of the dry -goods vended by these enterprising 
merchants were designated by strange names now sel- 
dom seen. Advertisements of them usually began with 
such announcements as the following : ' ' Robinson and 
Hale, on the north corner opposite the Dutch church, in 
Albany, have just imported in the ship Vigilant, from 
London, a large and general assortment of European 
and East India Goods.'' " Jacob van Schaick^ in Water 
Street, near the middle dock, has just imported in the 


Triumph, Captain Stout, from London, a quantity of 

Under such paragraphs were columns of names 
designating the recently received dry-goods : ' ' First 
and middling fagathees," "^^ moreens," ^'durants," '^tam- 
mies," '^callimancoes," '^camblets," ^'ratteens," ^' Irish 
f rize, " ' ' penniston, " ' ' striped duffels, " ' ' fustians, " 
' ' barnegore romals, " ' ' striped and plain shags, " " mil- 
linet," ''figured duroys," ''puUicat, bandanc, and lun- 
ger silk." In the same stores were also found '^tafte 
and ribbands," buckram, wafers, quills, ink-powder, 
snuif of the first quality, smoothing-irons, frying-pans, 
queen's ware, scythes and sickles, musket-balls, Jamaica 
spirits. West India and common rum. Muscovado sugar, 
German, blistered and Crawley's steel, refined and 
blooming bar-iron, pot, fool's-cap, and post paper, and 
London hair-powder and pomatum. 

The loss of the fur trade had its compensation in the 
more remunerative grain-business which for many years 
made Albany a noted market for the sale and purchase 
of wheat and other cereals. In winter the farmers of 
the surrounding country brought their grain in sleds 
to the city and sold it to the competitive mer- 
chants to be stored in their ample granaries until 
navigation opened in the spring, when it was transferred 
to the holds of sloops to be transported to New York 
and other seaports. 

One of the efl^ective means used to enlarge the. 
trade of Albany was ''The Albany Gazette," a news- 
paper printed by Charles R. Webster, the first number 
of which was published on the twenty-eighth day 
of May, 17S4 ; a small folio having pages ten by 
sixteen inches. ^ 

' The editor of the Gazette, in an advertisement, in the first number, in- 
forms the public that " His paper will in future, be published every Thurs- 


In the spring of 1784, the city authorities began the 
demoKtion of the fort at the head of State Street, using 
the stone for pubhc improvements, and permitting parts 
of its walls to be appropriated by the officers of the 
different churches for building purposes. The fire 
engines, which had been kept in another part of the 
city until 1YT3, were now housed in a building on 
the north side of St. Peter's church. The board of 
aldermen, on the nineteenth of March, 1785, ap- 
pointed a committee to report proper names to be as- 
signed to the different streets in the city and a plan for 
the numbering of the houses along them. The com- 
mittee, on the ninth of April, made a report which was 
received and a map of the city was ordered to be made 
on which the name assigned to each street should 

By an act of the legislature, passed the fourth of 
April, 1785, Isaac van Wyck, Talmage Hall, and John 
Kinney were granted the exclusive privilege of running 
a line of stages between the city of Albany and New 
York for a period of ten years. They were to provide 
at least two good and properly covered coaches, drawn 
by four able horses, and were not to charge more than 
four pence per mile for the conveyance of a passenger, 
who was to be allowed the free transportation of four- 
teen pounds of baggage. The stages were to depart 
once each week from the two cities unless prevented by 
the bad condition of the roads, or some unavoidable ac- 

day morning at nine o'clock, during the Summer — and on Friday at ten 
o'clock in the Winter. 

'* The price will be twelve shillings, per annum, six shillings to be paid 
on receiving the first paper, the other at the end of six months. 

"Advertisements of no more length than breadth, will be inserted three 
weeks for one dollar, and in the same proportion for every continuance." 

On the eighth of November, 1'784, Webster's Calendar, or the Albany 
Almanac, for the year 1V85, was issued from the office. 


cident. The fare, in the summer of 1791, from Albany 
to New York, was $7.25; hi the folio whig winter, $8. 
The price in the winter of 1796 was increased to $10, but 
in the following spring it was reduced to $6. 

Letters to persons living northward and southward 
of the city, were sent to the Albany post-office, which 
had been established, it seems, during the revolution. 
A number of towns, south and east of the city, also ob- 
tained their letters at Albany. Post-riders, compensated 
by the people whom they served along their routes 
through the surrounding country, distributed each week 
to their patrons the letters and newspapers addressed to 
them at Albany. There was a mail each week from 
New York, and one from Springfield, Massachusetts. 
In January, 1786, arrangements were perfected for the 
transmission of the mails twice each week between the 
cities of New York and Albany. 

A company of actors, having petitioned the board of 
aldermen for permission to give a number of theatrical 
performances in the hospital in the city, during the win- 
ter, were duly granted the privilege. The opening play 
was advertised in the supplement of the Gazette of the 
fifth of December ''By authority. On Friday Eve- 
ning, the 9th December, 1785, The Theatre in the City 
of Albany, will be opened with an Occasional Prologue, 
by Mr. Allen. After which will be presented, A Comedy 
in Two Acts call'd Cross Purposes. ^ ^- ^ 

''After the comedy. An Eulogy on Free Masonry, 
by Brother Moore. To be followed by a Dance called 
La Polonese, by Mr. Bellair. To conclude with a Comedy 
of Three Acts written by Shakespeare, calFd Catharine 
and Petruchio, or. The Taming of the Shrew. ^' '^ ^ 

'' Doors to be opened at Five o'Clock and the perfor- 
mance to begin precisely at Six, 


'' Tickets (without which no person can be admitted) 
to be had at Mr. Lewis's Tavern — as no money will be 
received at the door. 

" Box 8s. Gallery 4s. 

" No person to be admitted behind the scenes. 

'^N. B. Stoves are provided for the boxes, to render 
the house warm and comfortable." 

The following paragraph appeared on'the same day 
in a supplement of the Gazette : 

'^ We have the pleasure to inform the public, that a 
number of Carpenters for these some days have been 
employed fitting up, with the greatest expedition, the 
Hospital in this City as a Theatre ; under the direction 
of the Managers of the Company of Comedians, who 
have entertained the inhabitants of New York for some 
months past, with so much satisfaction to the pub- 
lic and reputation to themselves. Their continuance 
amongst us will be but for a very short time, it is there- 
fore to be wished, that all Lovers of the Drama, in this 
city and its neighborhood, would exert themselves in 
encouraging these ingenious Sons and Daughters of 
Thalia and Melpomene ; as it is universally acknowl- 
edged that Theatrical Eepresentations are, of all others, 
the best calculated to eradicate vulgar prejudices and 
rusticity of manners, improve the understanding and 
enlarge the ideas." 

The advertisement of the play and commendation of 
the editor it seems, gave offence to a number of the 
citizens, and a petition was signed and sent to the 
municipal authorities requesting them to rescind the 
resolution permitting the company to play in the city : 

' ' To the worshipful the Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen 
and Commonalty of the city of Albany — This Petition 
Humbly Sheweth : 


' ' That your petitioners having observed in the Sup- 
plement to the Albany Gazette, of the 5th inst. an ad- 
vertisement in the following manner, 

'^ ' By Authority, On Friday Evening, the 9th De- 
cember, the Theatre in the city of Albany, will be 
opened,' &c. beg leave humbly to represent to your 
w^orshipf ul Board, the present state and situation of this 
city — Though in the same paper the inhabitants are 
suspected of rusticity and want of politeness, they have 
so much common sense, we trust, as to judge and to 
declare, that we stand in no need of plays and play- 
actors to be instructed in our duty or good manners ; 
being already provided with other and much better 
means to obtain a sufficient knowledge and improve- 
ment in both — But the pressing necessities and wants of 
many families, after a long continued and distressing 
war — the debts still due to the public, for the safety 
and convenience of the state, and this city ; as well as 
the many objects of pity and charity (not to mention 
the gratitude we owe to God) call upon us to request an 
impartial reconsideration of your resolution, by which 
that authority was given, and to make such amend- 
ments as are consistent with your wisdom and prudence ; 
to acquaint your citizens, that the intent and meaning 
thereof, was not publicly to authorize, and thereby to 
applaud and encourage the theatrical exhibitions of 
those persons ; who, having left another more populous 
city, pretend to stay but a short time among us, prob- 
ably to support themselves on the way to another place, 
where they expect to meet with better friends and 
political connections : But, in reality, will drain us of 
our money, if not instil into the minds of the imprudent, 
principles incompatable with that virtue which is the 
true basis of republican liberty and happiness." 


This paper it is said, bore the signatures of about 
seventy citizens. The opposition it is also said, ''was 
raised and conducted by a few persons, very remarkable 
for a close and studied attention to the formalities of 
religion who, by their applications," had " procured the 
names of some of the most respectable" of the ''elder 
citizens, to join them in a petition to the corporation." 
They also "it is further declared, publicly threatened 
to raise a party to destroy by violence the building in- 
tended to be occupied as a theatre, provided it was 
opened for that purpose." 

Meanwhile the work of fitting up the hospital was 
progressing, but not rapidly enough to permit the com 
pany to give the first performance on the night already 
announced for the opening of the theatre. In an ad- 
vertisement, in the Gazette, the managers informed the 
public that they found it " absolutely necessary to defer 
the exhibitions until Tuesday Evening," the thirteenth 
of December. 

When, on the twelfth of December, the board of 
aldermen, voted on the motion ' ' that the comedians 
have not the liberty to exhibit their theatrical perform- 
ances in the hospital," the motion was lost by a vote of 
nine to four. 

The board then affirmed its former decision by the 
following resolutions : 

"Resolved that in the Opinion of this Board, they 
have not a Legal Right to prohibit the Company of Come- 
dians in this City from exhibiting their Theatrical per- 

' ' Resolved that as a Formal ajjplication was made 
by the said Company of Comedians to this Board for 
leave to occupy two Rooms in the Hospital for this pur- 
pose, and as this application was notorious and not 


Hastily Grranted^ so that sufficient time was afforded the 
Inhabitants to Express their Sentiments, and altho' the 
permission was Granted in formahty by a Majority of 
Members Composing the Corporation, they Conceive 
that it would be unjust at this time and forfeit their 
Honour to Deprive the said Company of Comedians of 
the use of the said Eooms, and Subject them to useless 

This action of the board of aldermen was thus 
commented on, by a correspondent in the Gazette, a few 
weeks afterward : ''It would be doing injustice to our 
Magistrates, not to mention here, that though it was 
not in their power to prohibit, yet they have never ex- 
tended their authority so far, as publicly to license 
the opening of the Theatre ; and if common fame can 
be credited, none of them have countenanced the 
Comedians, by attending their exhibitions— An example 
worthy the imitation of all ranks. 

'' When we find this darling vice encouraged in the 
first, and patronized in the second city of the state, and 
rearing its ensigns in each corner thereof, is it not high 
time for considerate inhabitants, to stej) forth and op- 
pose the increasing evil with firmness and resolution, 
ere it be too late." 

The comedians remained in the city until the twen- 
tieth of February, 178(), when they departed for Mon- 
treal, having given two performances each week during 
their stay. '' In justice to the Company " says the edi- 
tor of the Gazette, ' ' we cannot omit mentioning, that 
their conduct has been such as to meet with the appro- 
bation of the city in general." 

In 1T8(), Albany was the sixth largest city in the 
United States. It contained five hundred and fifty 
houses, and it was estimated that it had three thousand 


and fifty inhabitants. ^ To celebrate the centennial an- 
niversary of the incorporation of the city, the board 
of aldermen on the fifteenth of July appointed Philip 
van Rensselaer, Peter W. Yates, aldermen, John W. 
Wendell, Richard Lush, and Jillis Winne, assistant 
aldermen, a committee to report a suitable way to com- 
memorate the event. As entered in the minutes of the 
meeting of the common council^ on the eighteenth of 
July, the following report was presented respecting the 
celebration : 

'^ The Committee to whom was Referred the Mode 
of Celebrating the 2!^nd of July Instant, Being the Cen- 
tury anniversary of this City, do Report, that in their 
Opinion, The Common Council Convene in the forenoon 
of that day, at Ten O'Clock, at the City Hall, and from 
thence proceed in procession to the Hill westward of 
the City, attended by such Citizens as shall Chuse ; 
That during the Procession all the Bells of the several 
Churches in this City shall Ring, and at the arrival at 
the place assigned for the Purpose on the Hill, Thirteen 
Toasts and one for the Charter, [be offered] under the 
Discharge of Fourteen Cannon. 

' ' That the Order of Procession be as follows, vizt : 
1 The High Sheriff. 2 The Under Sheriffs. 3 The Con- 
stables with their Staffs. 4 The Mayor and Recorder. 5 
The Aldermen. 6 The Common Council. 7 The Chamber- 
lain and Clerks. 8 The Marshal. 9 The Corporations of 
the several Churches. 10 The Judges of the several 
Courts. 11 The Justices of the Peace. 12 The Members of 
Legislature & Attorneys at Law. 13 The Militia Officers. 

1 The number of houses in different cities at this time were thus given : 
Philadelphia 4600, New York 8500, Boston 2100, Baltimore 1900, Charles- 
ton, S. C. 1540, Albany 550, New Haven 400, Hartford 300, Wilmington 
400, Annapolis 2150, Fredericktown, Md. 400, Alexandria, Va. 300, Rich- 
mond 280, Petersburgh 290, Williamsburgh 230. 


li The Engine & Fire Company. 15 The Citizens at 

Having heard the report, the common council then 

" Eesolved that the former Committee be a Com- 
mittee to prepare and superintend the said business, 
who are to purchase a Barrel of Good Spirits for the 

' ' Eesolved that the members of this Board have a 
Supper at Mr. Lewis' Tavern at 6 O'Clock in the after- 

The editor of the Gazette, in his account of the cele- 
bration, says: ''The countenance of the inhabitants 
bespoke great satisfaction on the occasion ; and many 
wished that they might be blessed with the opportunity 
of celebrating the next Charter-Jubilee in like manner. 

" In the evening, the Corporation partook of an ele- 
gant supper, at the City-Tavern." 

In September men were employed by the city to 
remove the embankments of earth on the site of the fort 
for the purpose of widening State Street. 

By an act of legislature, on the twenty-first of March, 
1787, the election of aldermen, assistant aldermen and 
chamberlain was to be held thereafter ''on the last 
Tuesday of September in every year." 

The Lutherans, who for a number of years had been 
worshipping with the Episcopalians, "because the 
brethren of the English church [had] pulled down the 
edifice" built by the former, and who had paid £50 a 
year as their share for the support "of the common 
minister," held their religious meetings after the revo- 
lution in a dwelling-house near the site of their first 
church. On the 26th of August, 1784, Johann George 
Hillebrand, Carl Newman, and Christian Ering were 
elected trustees of the Lutheran church. The congrega- 


tion, having no pastor, on the seventh of September, 
extended a call to the Eev. Heinrich Moeller, who ac- 
cepted it, receiving an annual salary of fifty pounds 
sterling, and as much fire-wood as he needed. By 
agreement, he was permitted to serve at the same time 
the Low Dutch congregation at Loonenburgh. 

The minister, elders, and deacons of the church in 
March, 1786, petitioned the common council to be grant- 
ed the liberty to collect money in the city to build a 
house of worship. This request being granted, they 
immediately began to solicit subscriptions. To construct 
the foundation of the building, the municipal authorities 
permitted the officers of the church to take from the 
walls of the dismantled fort at the head of State Street, 
one hundred loads of stone for which the city was to 
receive seventy dollars. Having erected the church, 
the officers requested the board of aldermen in February, 
1787, to permit them to continue ''their application for 
donations " to enable them to complete their work. The 
common council, knowing that they had " erected a con- 
venient church for the public worship and convinced 
that their resources " were inadequate to effect their 
purposes, ' ' recommended them to the attention of all 
Christian people." The subscriptions received for the 
erection of the church, in 1787 amounted to £552 12s. 
2d. The new building occupied the site of the first 
church, on the north side of the Rutten kill, on the west 
side of Washington (South Pearl) Street, between Beaver 
and Nail streets. Not long after the erection of the 
church edifice, the Rev. Heinrich Moeller resigned his 
pastorship of the congregation. In June, 1791:, the Rev. 
Anthon Theodore Braun became its pastor. About the 
year 1797, a bell, weighing two-hundred and eighty- 
eight pounds, at one time used as an alarm-bell on a 


British man-of-war, was purchased for £55, and ''^with 
the blessing of God," was "put into the stippel of 
Ebenezer church." 

After the organization of the Presbyterian church of 
Albany in 1760, the Rev. William Hanna accepted the 
pastorate of the society, which he served for two years. 
He was succeeded by the Rev. Andrew Bay, who had 
the pastoral charge of the congregation for five years. 
During the revolution it appears that the church was 
without a minister. On the twelfth of July, 1785, the 
Rev. John McDonald was called to serve the society, and 
having accepted the pastorship, was ordained and in- 
stalled on the eighth of November. The building of a 
house of worship of brick was undertaken in 1794. The 
new church was erected on the plat of ground on the 
east side of Washington (South Pearl) Street, between 
Beaver Street and Store Lane, (Norton Street,) and w^as 
opened for service on the twentieth of November, 1790. 
The dimensions of the commodious building were sixty- 
four by seventy-six feet. 

The adoption of the constitution of the United States 
by the different states created two political parties, the 
federal and the anti-federal, the former favoring and 
the latter opposing its adoption. The ratification of the 
constitution of the United States by New York, in July, 
1788, caused great joy, and the event was commemorated 
by the federalists with processions and barbecues. 

On Monday, the twenty-eighth of July, 1788, a num- 
ber of the citizens of Albany having met together to 
consider the propriety of celebrating the ratification of 
the constitution for the government of the United States 
by the convention of the state of New York, determined 
to request the people of the city '"to partake in a public 
rejoicing, and to join in a federal procession, on Friday, 


the 8th day of August," which day's celebration was 
'' to be concluded with a decent American repast." The 
invitation was complied with, and ^'on the day ap- 
pointed, at sunrise, a gun was fired to announce the 

''At ten o'clock, A. M., 11 guns were fired to assemble 
to the fields near Water- Vliet ; 

''At half after ten, one gun for forming the Pro- 
cession ; 

"At eleven, the Procession was formed, when the 
whole line on the march saluted the Constitution ; 

" Immediately after the salute, the Procession moved 
in the following order : 

" The Albany Troop of Light-Horse, commanded by 
Captain Gansevoort, the officers and men in complete 

" Music. 

"The Constitution, neatly engrossed on parchment, 
suspended on a decorative staff, and borne by Major- 
General Schuyler, on horseback. 

"Standard of the United States, carried by Colonel 
John H. Wendell. 

"Eleven ancient Citizens, each representing a state 
that had ratified the Constitution, bearing a scroll of 
parchment, with the name of the state endorsed in 

"Axe-Men, ornamented with garlands of laurels. 

"An elegant Plough, guided by Stephen van Rens- 
selaer, Esq.; 

" Sowers, John Cuyler, Esq. and Capt. Jacob Lansing. 

"A neat Harrow, guided by Francis McoU, Esq. 

"Farmers, neatly dressed, with various implements 
of husbandry, emblematically decorated. 

" The Farmers' Flag carried by Mr. Gerrit Witbeck, 


green silk, a sheaf of wheat, motto, God speed the 

''Brewers, preceded by a dray, carrying a butt — 
Master van Rensselaer, in the character of Bacchus, 
astride, with a silver beaker in his hand." 

These were followed by carpenters, gold and 
silversmiths, boat builders, tin-men and pewterers, 
block and pump makers, blacksmiths, clock and watch- 
makers, sail makers, barbers, bakers, nailers, clothers, 
carmen, ship-joiners and ship- wrights, riggers, inspectors 
of flour, millers and weavers, appropriately dressed, and 
either carrying the implements of their trades or having 
their work-shops on decorated wagons, driven by two, 
four, or six horses. 

Then '"Printers, preceded by Apprentices decorated 
with blue sashes, carrying volumes of Newspapers, &c. 

"A white silk flag, carried by Mr. Charles R. Web- 
ster ; in an escutcheon, the Bible, the Constitution, Sept. 
IT, 1787, Ratification of the State of New York, July 
26, 1788 — on a wreath, a hand holding a composing-stick 
properly ; motto. Our Freedom is secured." 

Then followed painters and glaziers, tailors, coach- 
makers and wheel-wrights, turners, masons and brick- 
layers, saddlers and harness-makers, tanners and 
curriers, brass founders, coopers, butchers, cord-wainers, 
and glass-makers. 

Then "a batteau, elegantly painted and decorated, 
on a carriage, drawn by 2 grey horses, neatly caparisoned, 
loaded with goods proper for the Indian Trade ; navi- 
gated by a proper number of batteaumen, furnished 
with setting poles, paddles, &c., which were used with 
great skill during the procession, Mr. Gerardus Lansing, 
in the character of a trader, and an Indian, properly 
dressed and ornamented, sitting in the stern." 


This representation was followed by captains of ves- 
sels, merchants, traders, clerks, ''the corporations of 
the Dutch, Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches, pre- 
ceded by the Clergy. Sheriff and Deputies, with w^hite 
wands, Constables with their stars," grand jurors, mem- 
bers of the corporation, judges and justices of the court 
of Common Pleas, the chancellor, gentlemen of the bar 
in gowns, followed by their students, school-masters 
followed by their scholars, the surveyor-general, the 
adjutant-general, and the officers of the militia in com- 
plete uniform, physicians and students, and a detachment 
of artillery, commanded by Captain Hale. 

' ' The Procession moved, with the greatest regularity, 
through Water- Vleit-street, Market-street and State- 
street, to the Federal Bower ; which the van reached at 
half past twelve o'clock, announced by the firing of a 

''This edifice made an highly elegant appearance. 
It was erected on the most advantageous parts of the 
hights west of Fort-Frederic ; commanding the most 
extended prospect of any situation near the city ; and 
when the fiags of the respective divisions were displayed 
on its battlements, that of the United States on the 
centre, that of the State on the right, and the Farmers' 
on the left, the coup d ' oeil was extremely pleasing. 

"The edifice was 154 feet in length and 44 in breadth, 
and was raised upon 4 rows of pillars, 15 feet in height, 
which were close wreathed with foliage, and composed 
eleven arches in front. From the architrave, which was 
clothed with verdant branches, festoons of foliage were 
suspended, which crossed the arches ; above the centre 
of which, were white oval medallions, w^ith the name of 
a ratifying State on each. The centre medallion of 
which was inscribed New York, projected some feet 


above the rest, and with an elegantly finished pediment 
formed a graceful portico to the building. ''' '"" "" 

^' When the procession had drawn up in a line, at the 
rear of the bower, the company marched off, in regular 
divisions, to the tables, which were plentifully covered 
with substantial American cheei ; handsomely arranged 
under the direction of Mr. William Van Ingen. And, 
though the tables which were eleven in number, placed 
across the colonnade, in a line with the arches, were by 
no means sufficient for the company, which in its num- 
ber far exceeded the expectations of the warmest favor- 
ers of the procession, yet, so lively was the pleasurable 
spirit of accommodation, so general the wish to diffuse 
satisfaction, that no inconvenience was felt or com- 
plained of by any." 

After dinner the thirteen ^'toasts were drank, 
each honored with the discharge of eleven guns.'' 

' ' A gun was then fired, as a signal for again forming 
the Procession, which was done with the utmost regu- 
larity and dispatch. The route then taken, was down 
State-street into Pearl-street, and through it, Columbia- 
street, Market-street and Court-street, into the spacious 
pasture south of Fort Orange ; where the whole form'd 
a semicircle. After eleven guns had been fired from 
the Fort, answered by three cheers from the whole, the 
respective divisions marched off, at intervals, and, as 
they passed the Fort, received the salute of a single gun, 
which they returned with three cheers. Thus the 
whole dispersed, by degrees in such order and quiet, 
that had a stranger arrived in the city before six o'clock, 
his observation could never have suggested to him, that 
there had been any public meeting, however trifling. "^ 

In the American geography, a work by Jedidiah 

1 The Albany Gazette. August 2H, 17H8. 


Morse, printed in USD, the city of Albany is thus 
described : '^ It contains about ^00 houses built mostly 
by trading people on the margin of the river. The 
houses stand chiefly upon Pearl, Market and Water 
streets, and six other streets or lanes which cross them 
nearly at right angles. They are built in the Old Dutch 
Grothic style, with the gable end to the street, which 
custom the first settlers brought with them from Hol- 
land. The gable end is commonly of brick, with the 
heavy moulded ornament of slanting with notches, 
like stairs, and an iron house, for a weather cock, on the 
top. There is one little appendage to their houses, 
which the people, blind to the inconveniences of it, 
still continue, and that is the water gutters or spouts 
which project from every house, rendering it almost 
dangerous to walk the streets in a rainy day. 

'' Their houses are seldom more than one story and a 
half high, and have but little convenience, and less ele- 
gance ; but they are kept very neat, being rubbed with a 
mop almost every day, and scoured every week. The same 
neatness, however, is not observed in the streets, which 
are very muddy most of the year, except those which 
are paved ; and these are seldom swept and very rough. 
''The city of Albany contains about 4(H)() inhabitants, 
collected from almost all parts of the northern world. 
As great a variety of languages are spoken in Albany as 
in any town in the United States. Adventurers, in 
pursuit of wealth, are led here by the advantages of 
trade which this place affords. Situated on one of the 
finest rivers in the world, at the head of sloop navigation, 
surrounded with a rich and extensive back country, and 
the store house of the trade to and from Canada, and 
the Lakes, it must flourish, and the inhabitants cannot 
but grow rich. '^' "-' '^' 


''Albany is said to be an unsocial place. This is 
naturally to be expected. A heterogeneous collection 
of people, invested with all their national prejudices, 
eager in the pursuit of gain, and jealous of a rivalship, 
cannot expect to enjoy the pleasures of social inter- 
course or the sweets of an intimate and refined friend- 

''A gentleman of observation and discernment, who 
resided sometime in Albany, has made the following 
observations, which, though of general application, I beg 
leave to introduce under this particular head : 

" To form a just idea of the manners and customs of 
the inhabitants, we must confine ourselves to the Dutch, 
who being much the most numerous, give the tone to 
the manners of the place. Two things unite more 
particularly to render these disagreeable to foreigners ; 
first, a natural prejudice which we all possess in favor 
of our own, and against the manners of another place 
or nation ; secondly, their close union, like the Jews of 
old, prevent the innovation of foreigners, and to keep 
the balance of interest always in their own hands. 

^'It is an unhappy circumstance when an infant 
nation adopts the vices, luxuries and manners of an old 
one ; but this was in a great measure the case with the 
first settlers of Albany, most of whom were immediately 
from Amsterdam. Their diversions are walking and 
sitting in mead-houses, and in mixed companies they 
dance. They know nothing of the little plays and 
amusements common to small social circles. The gen- 
tleman who are lively and gay, play at cards, billiards, 
chess, &c., others go to the tavern, mechanically, at 11 
o'clock— stay until dinner, and return in the evening. 
It is not uncommon to see forty or fifty at these places 
of resort, at the same time ; yet they seldom drink to 


intoxication, unless in company, or on public occasions, 
when it is thought to be no disgrace. 

''They seldom admit many spectators to their mar- 
riages ; but the day after, the groom prepares a cold 
collation, with punch, wine, &c., to partake of which, 
he expects all his friends will come, at 11 o'clock with- 
out any invitation. A dictator, with absolute power, 
is then appointed to preside at each table, or in each 
room, and it seldoms happens that any are suffered to 
leave the house, until the whole circle exhibits a shock- 
ing specimen of human depravity. 

^^ Their funeral ceremonies are equally singular. 
None attend them without a previous invitation. At 
the appointed hour they meet at the neighboring houses 
or stoops, until the corpse is brought out. Ten or 
twelve persons are appointed to take the bier all to- 
gether, and are not relieved. The clerk then desires the 
gentlemen (for ladies never walk to the grave, nor even 
attend the funeral, unless a near relation) to fall into 
the procession. They go to the grave, and return to 
the house of mourning in the same order. Here the 
tables are handsomely set and furnished with cold and 
spiced wine, tobacco and pipes, and candles, paper, &c., 
to light them. The conversation turns upon promis- 
cuous subjects, however improper, and unsuitable to 
the solemnity of the occasion, and the house of mourn- 
ing is soon converted into a house of feasting. 

^'The best families live extremely well, enjoying all 
the conveniences and luxuries of life ; but the poor have 
scarcely the necessaries of subsistence. 

' ' The ground covered by the city charter is of a poor 
soil. In the river before the city is a beautiful little 
island, which, were it properly cultivated would afford 
a faint resemblance to Paradise. 


^^The well water in this city is extremely bad, 
scarcely drinkable by those who are not accustomed to 
it. Indeed all the water for cooking is brought from 
the river, and many families use it to drink. '■ ''* *'' 

^^The public buildings are a Low Dutch church, one 
for Presbyterians, one for Germans or High Dutch, one 
for Episcopalians — a hospital and the City Hall.'' 

A writer thus speaks of the city in 1 7Si) : '' We have 
a prospect, ere another year shall transpire, of seeing 
the principal streets not only comfortably, but elegant- 
ly paved. In addition to which, the wharves have been 
repaired and enlarged, and the city adorned with several 
new private buildings, which would not disgrace some 
of the principal cities in Europe, and would ornament 
any in America.'' 

Seven or eight years ago, '^a competent English teach- 
er was scarcely to be found. We now have an academy, 
which flourishes under the direction of Mr. Merchant, a 
gentleman who has always given such proofs of his abil- 
ities, as to render encomium entirely superfluous. 

" At that period [that is seven or eight years ago] not 
more than seventy, at the utmost calculation, shops and 
stores were kept in this city. Now we behold Market 
and State streets crowded with stores, and rents in those 
streets enhanced to such a degree as to put houses out of 
the reach of inconsiderable traders. Nor had we manu- 
factories of any kind, but depended on importation en- 
tirely for every manufactured article. Now we see the 
citizens, stimulated by motives of public spirit, daily pro- 
moting them. Messrs. Stevenson, Douw & Ten Eyck 
have erected a nail manufactory, in which nails of every 
description are manfactured as cheap, and pronounced to 
be superior to any imported. ^ 

1 In 1 7S7, a nail manufactory was established " in Orange street, near the 
Hij^h Dutch [German Reformed] Church," by Gerrit Witbeck. 


"Much praise is also due to James Caldwell, of this 
city, merchant, for his spirited exertions in promoting 
the manufacture of tobacco of every description, snuff, 
mustard and chocolate, for which purpose he has, at 
great expense, erected mills which are ranked among the 
first in America. ^ "'' '"" '' 

" And I flatter myself 1 am not too sanguine, when I 
indulge the idea, that I shall live to see the day when 
this city, adorned with every necessary public building, 
and other improvements, will become the fixed seat of 
government of the Legislature ; shipping of considerable 
bulk, owned by our own merchants, opening their canvas 
before our wharves, and wafting the produce of our 
country to distant quarters of the globe. " 

Ananias Piatt, a Lansingburgh inn-keeper, on Tues- 
day, the twenty-first of April, 1789, began to run a stage 
daily from his inn to Eobert Lewis's tavern, in Albany. 
Passengers were charged four shillings for the round trip. 
The legislature, on the first of February, granted the 
proprietor of the line the exclusive right to run stages 
between Albany and Lansingburgh. In 1796,- twenty 
coaches were running daily on this route, the river being 
crossed at the ferry at Troy. 

On Monday, the twenty- fifth of May, 1789, the Al- 
bany Gazette began to be published on every Monday 
and Thursday of each week. The pubhcation of the 
Albany Journal, or, Montgomery, Washington & Colum- 
bia Intelligencer, which had been begun in connection 
with the Gazette, on Saturday, the twenty -sixth of 

'a These mills are described as " situated about one mile from the centre 
of the city, and 400 yards west from the mansion house of Stephen Van 
Rensselaer. Esq., at the entrance of a delightful valley, through which a 
never failing stream passes, that turns a number of other mills within sight 
of each other." On the twelfth of July, 1794, Caldwell's mills were burned ; 
the loss was estimated at ^l'^,000. The mills were shortly afterwards re- 


January, 17S8, being issued on Mondays and Saturdays, 
was discontinued after the twenty-fifth of May, 1789. 
Charles R. and (leorge Webster & C.ompany were its 
publishers. The Albany Register, first issued in May, 
r7SS, was published by Robert Barber. 

To obtain a plat of ground more suitable for the burial 
of the dead than the grave-yards in the city, the common 
council, in 17S9, appointed Thomas Hun and T. V. W. 
(xrahani a committee to select a common burying-ground 
for the city. At this time the Episcopal gi*ave-yard ex- 
tended from State Street across Maiden Lane ; the Lu- 
theran was at the intersection of Washington and Beaver 
streets, south of the church ; the Presbyterian near the 
corner of Hudson and (xi'and streets, on the east side of 
the church : the new burying-gr*ound of the Reformed 
Protestant Dutch church was on the south side of Beaver 
Street, a short distance west of Cxreen Street ; the Grer- 
man Reformed was near the church, west of Pearl Street, 
near the north bounds of the city. 0]i the nineteenth 
of September, the committee reported that a suitable five- 
acre lot for a common burial place was on the east side 
of the plat of ground which had been the site of the 
barracks which had been burned and on which a burial- 
vault had been consti'ucted. They suggested that the 
most eastern acre should be granted to the corporation of 
the Presbyterian church, the next one on the west side 
to the Episcopal church, the next to the Lutheran church, 
and the east half of the third acre to the Reformed High 
Dutch (the (lerman Reformed) church, and the most 
western acre and the remaining half-acre to the Dutch 
church. On the map of the plan of the city made in 
1794, this burial-ground is conspicuously delineated. 

The Protestant Episcopal Church had become inde- 
pendent of the established chui'ch of England, and the 


congregation of St. Peter's churchy which had, under the 
seal of the province of New York, on the twenty-fifth of 
April, 17B9, been erected into a corporation by the name 
of ' ' the Rector and Inhabitants of the City of Albany, in 
the county of Albany, in communion of the church of 
England," petitioned the legislature to change this to 
' ' the Rector and Inhabitants of the City of Albany, in 
communion of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
State of New York." Conformable to this prayer, an act 
to enable the corporation of St. Peter's church to assume 
this name was passed on the third of March, 1T89. The 
patent of 1714, granted by Governor Hunter, and the 
charter of 17B9, granted by Governor Moore, are preserved 
in the vault of the church. The silver communion-service, 
two chalices, two flagons, and two patens, and an alms 
basin, which, in 1710, were intended by Queen Anne as 
a present to the congregation that was to be organized 
among the Onondagas but never was, are now the propert}^ 
of St. Peter's church. The plate bears this inscription : 
" The gift of Her Majesty Ann, by the Grace of God, of 
Great Britain, France, and Ireland, and of Her Planta- 
tions, in North America, Queen, to Her Indian Chappel of 
the Onondawgus." Within the encircling inscriptions 
are the royal ensignia and the letters, A. R. 

Although the society was without a rector during 
the revolutionary war services were from time to time 
conducted in the church. Lieutenant Ebenezer Elmer, 
who passed through Albany on his way to Canada, 
'^attended the English church in the forenoon," on 
Sunday, the twenty-sixth of May, 177<i. On the first 
of May, 1787, the Rev. Thomas Ellison was appointed 
rector of St Peter's church. 

About the year 17S9, a small number of Mji^hodists 
organized a society in Albany, holding their meetings in 


the dwellings of the members. In 1790, this congrega- 
tion was included in the circuit of the Rev. James Camp- 
bell. Shortly afterward the society erected a chapel on the 
southeast corner of Orange and Pearl streets. In the little 
building, on the twenty-second of June, 1792, John Blood- 
good, Abraham Ellison, Isaac Lawson, Elisha Johnson, 
William Fredenbourgh, Nathanael Arms, and Calvin 
Chisman were elected trustees of the Methodist Episco- 
pal church of the city and county of Albany. 

To establish a public library in the city, a number of 
the citizens, in December, 1791, formed an association, 
and petitioned the legislature to be made a corporate 
body known by the name of ' ' The trustees of the Al- 
bany Library. " An act was passed on the twenty-fourth 
of February, 1792, incorporating the trustees of the 
Albany Library ; Abraham Ten Broeck, John Lansing, 
jr., Philip Schuyler, Stephen van Rensselaer, Jeremiah 
van Rensselaer, Thomas Ellison, John McDonald, James 
Fairlie, Daniel Hale, Hunloke Woodruff, Goldsbrow 
Banyar, and Stephen Lush, being constituted the first 
trustees. Abraham Ten Broeck w^as named by the act 
the president of the association, and James van Ingen, 
treasurer and librarian. 

^^ As the bank-fever has passed itself in this country 
of an epedemic nature," wrote a citizen of Albany, in the 
Gazette of Thursday, the second of February, 1792, "' and 
as it rages with the greatest violence in the city of New 
York, it is shrewdly suspected the contagion has 
reached this northern part of the state ; which is 
strongly indicated by some evident symptoms which have 
lately been discovered among several of our fellow 

In the same number of the Gazette, the following- 
paragraph appears: ''The establishment of a bank, 


having been the subject of conversation for some time 
past in this city, and as there are many who think that 
such an institution will be proper ; all those who are of 
that opinion are requested to meet at Lewis's, at 4 o'clock, 
to-morrow afternoon, to consider the subject." 

This invitation as it will be seen in the following 
information, contained in the Gazette, on Monday, the 
sixth of February, induced a number of capitalists, in- 
terested in the establishment of a bank, to assemble at 
the inn of Robert Lewis, on the southeast corner of 
Washington and State streets : ' ^A respectable number of 
gentlemen collected at the city -tavern on Friday evening 
last, agreeable to notification, to discuss the important sub- 
ject of estabhshing a bank in this city — and we are happy 
to add, there appeared an unanimous wish to forward the 
establishment. Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, esq., being 
placed in the chair, a candid and impartial investigation 
of the subject took place ; after which a committee was 
chosen for the purpose of reporting a plan for the establish- 
ment of a bank in this city, to be laid before a meeting 
of the citizens, on Friday evening next, at the city tav- 
ern, to which time the meeting stands adjourned. A 
punctual and general attendance is requested at 5 o'clock 
P. M. on that day. The gentlemen who compose the 
committee are Cornelius Glen, John Tayler^ Daniel Hale, 
Gerrit W. Van Schaick, Abraham Van Vechten, esqrs." 

The committee, at the next meeting at the city-tavern, 
reported a plan for the establishment of a bank in the 
city. The institution was to be called •'The Albany 
Bank," the capital to be seventy-five thousand dollars, to 
be divided into five hundred shares of one hundred and 
fifty dollars each. Jeremiah van Rensselaer, Jacob van 
der Hey den and Barent Bleecker were appointed a com- 
mittee to open the books at the city-tavern on Friday, 


the seventeenth of February, at two o'clock, and to re- 
ceive subscriptions with deposits of fifteen dollars on each 

The committee, on the sixteenth of February, inserted 
the following notification in the Gazette : " All persons 
intending to become stockholders to the bank of Albany, 
are hereby notified, that a subscription will be opened at 
the city-tavern, precisely at 2 o'clock to-morrow, to re- 
main open till 5 o'clock ; at which time the books will 
be closed. Should the number of shares exceed 500, such 
excess to be reduced to that number, in equal proportions. 
And on Tuesday following, between the hours of 10 and 
12 o'clock, and from 8 to 5, we shall meet at the store of 
Messrs. Glen and Bleeckers, for the sole purpose of re- 
ceiving 15 dollars on each share subscribed, and deliver- 
ing receipts for the same.'' 

Under the heading ''Albany Bank Script," in the 
Gazette of Monday, the twentieth of February, the fol- 
lowing paragraphs appear : 

''On Friday last, the subscriptions to the bank, in 
this city, were over-run, in less than three hours, by 
which means the association is now completely organized, 
and will go immediately into operation." 

Stock was "sold on Friday, after the books were 
closed, at 10 per cent, advance ; and on Saturday, at 100 
per cent, in cash. 

" Stockholders are advised, notwithstanding the pre- 
sent advanced price of Script not to sell out — as every 
measure has been taken to obtain an incorporation & the 
number of shares being small their value will necessarily 

At a meeting of the stockholders, held on Monday, 
the twenty-seventh of February, Philip Schuyler, Abra- 
ham Ten Broeck, Stephen van Rensselaer, Goldsbrow 


Banyar, Jereaiiah van Rensselaer, Cornelius Glen, Daniel 
Hale, John Maley, James Caldwell, John Stevenson, 
Stephen Lush, Albert Pawling, and John Sanders were 
elected directors. 

A petition having been presented to the legislature on 
Saturday, the twenty-fifth of February for the incor- 
poration of the stockholders of the Bank of Albany, an 
act was passed on the tenth of April, 1792, incorporating 
all such persons as were or should thereafter be stock- 
holders of the bank under the name of '' The president, 
directors, and company of the Bank of Albany." The 
act designated the persons previously elected as the first 
directors of the institution, who were to hold their 
offices until the second Tuesday of May following, and 
thereafter annually on that day thirteen directors were 
to be chosen. The stock, estate, and property, were 
never to exceed in value the sum of two hundred and 
sixty thousand dollars. A share in the stock of the 
said bank was to ' ^ be four hundred Spanish milled 
dollars, or the equivalent thereof in specie;" the share 
not to exceed at any time six hundred, exclusive of 
any share that the state might subscribe. The directors 
were required to make half-yearly dividends of the 
profits of the bank, and not to demand more than six per 
cent, for discounts. 

The following persons were elected directors of the 
bank on the twelfth of June : Abraham Ten Broeck, 
Cornelius Glen, Stephen van Rensselaer, John Maley, 
Jeremiah van Rensselaer, Abraham van Vechten, Henry 
Cuyler, John Stevenson, James Caldwell, Jacob van der 
Hayden, Goldsbrow Banyai, Daniel Hale, and Elkanah 
Watson. Abraham Ten Broeck was elected president. 
On the sixteenth of July, the bank began business, in a 
building on the east side of Pearl Street, now numbered 

.. Itri.son 


11; (lerrit W. van Schaick being cashier. The new 
banking-house, on the west side of Market Street, the 
sixth building north of State Street, was first opened for 
business on the twentieth of July, 1795. On the third of 
February, 1810, the bank was removed to a building on 
the site of the Government Building, on the northeast 
corner of Broadway and State Street. 

One of the largest conflagrations that ever occurred 
in the city was the great fire of Sunday night, the seven- 
teenth of November, 179^. About half past ten o'clock 
that night the stable of Leonard Gansevoort, in Middle 
Lane, as James Street was then called, was discovered 
to be on fire. The breeze soon carried the fire to the ad- 
jacent structures, and in a short time, the buildings on 
the west side of Market Street, from Maiden Lane to the 
building on the northwest corner of Market and State 
streets, were burned to the ground. On the north side of 
State Street, east of Middle Lane, six buildings were con- 
sumed. All the stables and barns on Middle Lane, 
between State Street and Maiden Lane, were burned, and 
two buildings in Maiden Lane. The Gazette printing 
office, No. ?)H State Street, was also burned. The property 
destroyed was highly valued. 

In December, 1792, the project of running a line of 
stages between Albany and Whitestown, in Oneida 
County, one hundred miles west of the cit}^ was favored 
by a number of capitalists. '^ Such an idea a few years 
ago," says the editor of the Gazette, '^ would have been 
ridiculed ; but from the great intercourse with the west 
through this city, we have every reason to suppose it will 
answer a valuable purpose, both to the public and the 
proprietors ; especially if the proprietors should succeed 
in contracting for the mail, of which there can be little 
doubt." In May, 1798, Moses Beal ''erected a stage" to 


carry passengers from Albany to Schenectady, Johns- 
town, and Canajoharie, once a week. The coach left the 
city on Friday mornings and returned on Tuesdays. The 
fare was three cents a mile. A line of stages began to 
run in November, 1793, between Albany and North- 
ampton, Massachusetts. A stage departed on Tuesdays 
and Fridays from each of these two places and arrived in 
the evenings of those days at Pittsfield. In the adver- 
tisement of the enterprise, ^'the proprietors of this new 
line beg leave to observe that the difficulty of extending 
a line of stages from Northhampton to Albany (across 
the mountains), has heretofore been supposed insur- 
mountable — but considering this establishment forms an 
expeditious and sure communication from Portland in 
the province of Maine through a rich and flourishing 
country to Whitestown, in the western part of the State 
of New York, a distance of upwards of four hundred 
miles, they have determined to make the experiment." 
The fare was four pence a mile. In January, 1796, John 
Clark and Reuben King advertised that they had con- 
tracted to carry the mail by a line of stages to run twice 
a week between Albany and Boston. 

At a meeting of the mechanics in the city on the 
tenth of January, 1793, a committee was appointed to 
prepare a constitution of an association for the laudable 
purpose of protecting and supporting such of their 
brethren who by sickness or accident might need assis- 
tance, and of relieving the widows and orphans of the 
members w^ho might die in indigent circumstances, and 
also of providing the means of instruction for their 
children. The first officers of the society were : John 
W. Wendell, president, Charles R. Webster, first vice- 
president, Bernardus Evertsen, second, Isaac Hutton, 
treasurer, and John Barber, secretary. It was incor- 


porated the sixth of March, ISOl, to contmue an organi- 
zation until the twenty-fifth of JNovember, iS'2r]. 

Reviewing the business-transactions of the eighth of 
February, 1 794, the editor of the Gazette thus refers to 
what had been done in the city on that day : ''On a 
moderate estimate it is presumed the purchases and sales 
of produce and merchandise exceeded $50,000. Of the 
article of wheat, between 25 and 80,0u0 bushels w^ei*e 
brought to this market ; a quantity far exceeding the 
receipts of any one day since the settlement of this coun- 
try. The price of wheat rose during the day from Is. 
'2d. to Ss., or the highest price between this and the first 
of March. This last mode of purchase is truly novel, and 
must be convincing to the fai-mer that the merchants of 
this city are too independent to form combinations." 

The tide of emigration toward the western part of the 
state apparently was at its greatest height in February, 
1795. Winter it seems was a more favorable season for 
travelling than any other part of the year. The rough 
roads, frozen and covered with snow, weie more easily 
passed over with sleds than with heavy wagons, which 
only a few possessed ; and it was moi'e advantageous for 
the settlers to reach the land they were to cultivate, be- 
fore spring-time, when their labor was to be wholly 
bestowed upon the tillage of the virgin soil. A citizen 
of Albany, counted one day, from sun-rise to sun-set, five 
hundred sleighs of emigrants going through the city. It 
was estimated that twelve hundred sleighs burdened 
with families and household goods had passed through 
the streets in three days, coming fr(jm the New England 
towns and going to the fertile valley of the (lenesee 
River. Upon one of the sledges a printing press was 
seen, an indispensable instrument for the cultivation of 
ennobling enterprise and industry. 


In the summer of 1795, the emment French officer, 
Francois Alexandre Frederic, due de la Eochefoucault- 
Liancourt, v^isited Albany, and gave the following des- 
cription of the city in his work, Voyage dans les Etats- 
Unis : '' It is seated one-hundred and fifty miles from 
New York, has a harbor, and a very extensive trade. 
Ships of eighty tons burthen sail up to the town ; and 
the trade is carried on in vessels of this size. A sort 
of sand-bank, [the Overslaugh,] three miles below Al- 
bany, renders the navigation rather difficult ; yet it is 
easily cleared with the assistance of pilots acquainted 
with it, and no ship arrives without one of them on board. 
This impediment, it is asserted, might easily be removed 
at a triffing expense ; and ships of a much larger size 
might then anchor near the city. The navigation of the 
river from the north country is open from the middle of 
April until the middle of November. 

" The trade of Albany is chiefly carried on with the 
produce of the Mohawk country, and extends eastward 
as far as cultivated lands expand. The State of Vermont, 
and a part of New Hampshire furnish also many articles 
of trade ; and the exports chiefly consist in timber and 
lumber of every sort and description, potatoes, potash 
and pearl ashes, all species of grain, and lastly in manu- 
factured goods. These articles are, most of them, trans- 
ported to Albany in winter on sledges, housed by the 
merchants, and by them successivelly transmitted to 
New York, where they are either sold for bills on Eng- 
land, or exchanged for English goods, which are in re- 
turn sent from Albany to the provinces, whence the 
articles for transportation were drawn. Business is, 
therefore, carried on entirely with ready nioney, and 
especially in regard to pot-ash ; not even the most 
substantial bills are accepted in payment. 


*' The trade of Albany is carried on in ninety vessels, 
forty-five of which belong to the inhabitants of the town, 
and the rest to New York or other places. They are in 
in general of seventy tons burthen, and make upon the 
average ten voyages a year, which on computing the 
freights outwards and homewards, produce a total of 
one hundred and twenty-six thousands tons of shipping 
for the trade of Albany. Every ship is navigated by 
four men ; the master is paid twenty dollars a month, if 
he have no share in the ship, the mate fifteen and a sea- 
man nine. There is generally a cabin-boy on board, or 
more frequently a cook, as few ships have less than eight 
passengers on board, either coming up or going down. 
The freight of goods is usually one shilling a hundred 
weight ; but this varies according to their value, or the 
room they occupy. 

" The trade of Albany is very safe, but seems not to 
be very profitable. The net proceeds of a voyage amount 
upon an average to about one hundred dollars, which 
make for the whole year one thousand dollars for a ship, 
a profit by no means considerable. If you add to this 
the money paid by passengers for their passage, which 
amounts to ten shillings a head, making from seventeen 
to twenty dollars a voyage, and from one hundred and 
seventy to two hundred dollars for the ten voyages, 
w^hich are made in the course of the year, the whole 
yields but a very moderate profit, which is however in- 
creased by the sale of goods. This is as yet the usual 
way in which trade is carried on by this city ; it deprives 
the merchants of Albany of a considerable profit, and 
throws it into the hands of those of New York. Some 
of the former undertake indeed voyages to England, 
Holland and other countries ; but, for this purpose, they 
charter New York vessels. These are the bolder people ; 



and are called men of the new notions, but their number 
is small. 

''The ancient customs and confined views of the 
timid yet covetous Dutchmen, have carefully been pre- 
served in this city. No ship sails from Albany directly 
to Europe ; and yet provision is sent thither from this 
place. It is evident that, if the inhabitants would take 
themselves the trouble of exporting their produce, they 
would save useless interest, the return freight, and 
double commission, and would obtain employment for 
their ships during the time when the navigation to the 
north is shut up by ice. Ideas of this complexion begin 
to dawn upon the minds of some merchants, and will, 
no doubt, produce advantageous changes. From the 
same habitual apathy, the merchants of Albany relinquish 
the trade in horses and mules, great numbers of which 
are reared in the neighborhood, to the Connecticut mer- 
chants, who purchase and export them with considerable 
profit, to the Antilles. 

'' The building of ships costs in Albany about twenty - 
seven dollars and a half per ton. The ships are all fir- 
built, and last about ten years. Experiments have been 
made, which prove, that ships built of dry and well- 
seasoned timber, last thirty years and upwards. The 
trade of Albany grows daily more extensive ; and the 
number of shops and ships is increasing fast. 

'' Two new towns, built five or six years ago, a few 
miles above Albany, on the northern [eastern ?] bank of 
the river, share in this trade. These two towns, which 
have rapidly raised themselves to a considerable degree 
of importance, and are but three or four miles distant 
from each other, carry on the same trade as Albany with 
about twenty five or thirty vessels, which belong to them, 
drawn from the back country the productions of these 


fruitful provinces, transmit them to New York^ take in 
return European goods, and supply with them those 
parts, which were formerly supplied from Albany. The 
greater distance, however, and less depth of water, are 
circumstances unfavorable to these new towns. The 
freight thence to Albany is two pence per barrel ; their 
largest ships are only of sixty tons burthen, and generally 
can not take on board more than half their cargo, the 
remainder of which they receive from lighters, which at- 
tend them for that purpose in the vicinity of Albany. 
Yet, they continue their trade, increase daily, and will 
probably animate Albany to greater boldness and ac- 
tivity. New City ^ [Lansingburgh] contains about sixty 
or seventy stores or shops, and Troy fifty or sixty. These 
new-settled merchants all prosper, and their number is 
daily increasing. "^ " '^" 

''Albany contains six thousand inhabitants, two 
thousand of whom are slaves, as the laws of the State of 
New York permit slavery. The old houses are built in 
the Dutch style, with the gable-end to the street ; the 
pyramidal part rising in steps, and terminating in a 
chimney decorated with figures, or in some iron puppets. 
All the buildings, which have been erected within these 
last ten years, are constructed of bricks in the English 
style, wide and large. 

''The revenue of the city amounts to about thirty- 
five thousand dollars a year. It possesses a great quan- 
tity of land in the neighboring country, and also sells the 
quays on the river at two dollars and a half per foot, and 
a ground-rent of one shilling, which is irredeemable. 
This revenue is partly owing to the economy of the ad- 
ministrators, who have hitherto endeavored rather to 
enrich the city than to embellish it, and render it more 

1 The Dutch designated Albany as de oiide stad, the old city, and Lansing- 
burgh, which was first named New City, de nieuwe stad, the new city. 


convenient. The senate [or common conncil ] is, at 
present, composed of young men, who promise to take 
care of these articles. But, from the ignorance, apathy, 
and antiquated ideas, which prevail in this city, it is 
much to be apprehended, lest the results of their exer- 
tions should prove but very trifling for a long time to 
come. I almost incline to think that young people here 
are old born. 

''A bank, which was instituted here four years ago, 
promotes the trade of Albany ; it consists of six hundred 
shares of four hundred dollars each, only half of which 
have hitherto been paid. The yearly dividend is nine 
per cent, besides what is deducted for the expense of the 
building in which the bank is kept. 

" There is in Albany a Dutch Lutheran church of a 
Gothic and very pecuhar construction ; the Episco- 
palians, Presbyterians, German Protestants, and Metho- 
dists, possess also churches in this town. 

'^ The price of land, in the vicinity of Albany, is from 
sixty-three to seventy-five dollars per acre. Some lands 
near the river are still dearer. '"' "^ *"' 

"Some manufactories have been estabhshed at a 
small distance from the town, among which is a glass 
house, in which both window-glass and bottles are made. ^ 
The former is ])retty smooth, and the manufactory is 
carried on with mvich activity. Mr. Caldhowell [Cald- 
well] possesses also near the town extensive works, 
where tobacco, mustard, starch, and cocoa mills, are 
turned by water, and even every necessary labour is per- 
formed by the aid of water machinery. The tobacco mill 
is the most important part of these works ; about one hun- 

1 The glass manufactory was owned by the firm of McCallen, McGregor & 
Co., the company being James Caldwell and Christopher Batterman. It 
was eight miles west of the city, and its site was familiarly known as the 
Glass House. 


dredand fifty thousand pounds are yearly manufactured. 
Last summer [July, 1794| a complete set of similar works 
having been consumed by fire, Mr. Caldwell's friends 
immediately opened a loan of twenty thousand pounds 
at the bank, and the legislative body of New York re- 
solved also last session to assist him with a sum of the 
same amount. I am to add in honour of Mr. Caldwell 
with whom I am not acquainted, that nearly all the 
labouring people in the city, in consequence of this un- 
fortunate accident subscribed several days' labour, as a 
voluntary contribution to the reconstruction of these 
works, which are truly grand and beautiful. They give 
employment and subsistence to fifty persons, some of 
whom receive one hundred dollars a year ; children, nine 
years old, can earn from six shillings to one dollar a 
week. Tan -yards, corn, oil, paper, fulling-mills, have 
also been erected in the surrounding country ; and 
labourers are found in abundance. The wages of com- 
mon-day labourers amount to four shillings and six pence 
a day, and to seven shillings in harvest. 

* ^ Hospitality to strangers seems not to be a prominent 
feature in the character of the inhabitants of Albany, 
the few, with whom we got acquainted, looked extremely 
dull and melancholy. They live retired in their houses 
with their wives, who sometimes are pretty, but rather 
awkward in their manners ; and with whom their 
husbands scarcely exchange thirty words a day, although 
they never address them but with the introductory ap- 
pellation of ' My Love. ' Exceptions, undoubtedly, exist 
in regard to the charms of the ladies, as well as to the 
conduct and conversation of the husbands ; but, it is 
asserted, they are very few. "^ 

1 Travels through the United States of America, in the years 1795, 179H 
and 1797. By the Duke de la Rochefoucault-Liancourt, London, 1799. vol, 
i. pp. 368-378. 


By a legislative act of the twenty-sixth of March, 
1796, Philip Schuyler, Abraham Ten Broeck, Daniel Hale, 
Jeremiah van Rensselaer, and Tennis T. van Vechten 
were appointed a board of commissioners to build a state- 
prison in Albany county. In July, they purchased six 
acres of land lying on the north side of the city, between 
the main road and the river, three fourths of a mile from 
the city-hall. In 1797, the power conferred on the com- 
missioners was annulled, and the work of erecting the 
building was not undertaken. 

In the early summer of 1796, a number of Eoman 
Catholics, who haji been attending at different times the 
ministrations of officiating priests in the houses of 
Margaret Cassidy and William Duffy, undertook to solicit 
the means for the erection of a suitable building for a 
church. The undertaking received the generous en- 
couragement of the citizens. * ' With great pleasure " the 
editor of the Gazette observes, ''we have noticed the 
success of the subscription, opened a few days since for 
erecting a Roman Catholic chapel in this city. It be- 
speaks the tolerant and liberal disposition of the country, 
to find our citizens of every persuasion emulous in 
assisting their Roman Catholic brethren with the means 
of building here a temple to the God of heaven, in which 
they can worship according to the dictates of their own 
consciences. The corporation unanimously resolved to 
present them with a piece of ground for the site of their 
church.'' The city gave the society a plat of ground on 
Pine Street, between Barrack and Lodge streets. The fol- 
lowing persons were elected trustees of the church at the 
house of James Robichaux, on the sixth of October, 1796 : 
Thomas Barry, Louis Le Coulteaux, Daniel McEvers, 
Terrence O'Donnell, Jeremiah Driscoll, Michael Bagley, 
James Robichaux, William Donovan, and Philip Farrell. 



On the thirteenth of September, 1797, the corner-stone 
of the chapel was laid by Thomas Barry, one of the 
trustees. A marble tablet was placed in the front wall 
of the building, having the representation of a human 
skull in the right upper corner, and of two crossed bones 
in the left, and the following inscription : ''I. H. S. 
Thomas Barry, Louis Le Coulteaux, founders. E. G. 
Quinn, master-builder. A. D. 179<S. The edifice, which 
was finished in 1807, was a brick building, about fifty 
feet square, fronting on Pine Street. 

An enumeration of the buildings in the city was made 
in December, 1 79(), which showed that within its limits 
were seven hundred and one dwelling-houses ; one hun- 
dred and thirty-one stores, sixty-eight store-houses, and 
one hundred and ninety-three stables. 

The Court-House or City-Hall l\ 17*.>H. 




By the concurrent action of the two houses of the 
state legislature, on the ninth and eleventh days of 
November, 1796, then in session in the city of New York, 
the senate and the assembly adjourned on the eleventh 
day of that month to meet again on the third of Jan- 
uary, 1797, in Albany. When the legislature convened 
in Albany, a number of its members favored the project 
of making the city the capital of the state. To obtain 
a consideration of this important matter by the legisla- 
ture, a bill, entitled ' ' an act for establishing the permanent 
seat of government," was presented in the assembly, on 
the fourteenth of January, by Gaylord Griswold of Her- 
kimer County. 

To influence the action of the legislature, the board of 
aldermen, on the twenty-fifth of January, determined 
to proffer to the state so much land as would be needed 
for the site of the public buildings. 

'^ Whereas, There is a bill before the Hon. the Legis- 
lature of the State of New York for fixing the permanent 
seat of governnient in the city of Albany, be it there- 

''Resolved, That this board will convey to the people 


of the State of New York so much ground out of any of 
the vacant lands of this board as shall be thought neces- 
sary for erecting the requisite buildings." 

The senate and assembly while the bill was under 
consideration so amended it that its title became ''an act 
for erecting a public building in the county of Albany," 
and its primal provisions for the establishment of a per- 
manent seat of government were eliminated. The act, 
passed the tenth of March, 1797, constituted Philip 
Schuyler, Abraham Ten Broeck, Jeremiah van Rensse- 
laer^ Daniel Hale, and Teunis T. van Vechten, commis- 
sioners ' ' to superintend the erection of a suitable building 
for the purpose " therein mentioned, ''on such ground 
lying in the city of Albany as the corporation of the city " 
might thereafter convey to the state " as a donation for 
that purpose." As enacted, the building was to be "so 
constructed as to contain commodious, secure, and suffi- 
ciently extensive apartments for the safe keeping of all 
the records, books, papers and other things belonging or 
in any wise appertaining to the office of the secretary of 
this state, and to the office of the clerk of the supreme 
court ; and such other public papers as the legislature may 
from time to time direct to be deposited therein ; and 
such building shall contain such additional apartments 
as may be requisite for offices for the secretary of this 
state, and for an office for a clerk of the supreme 
court." The expense of the erection of the building was 
not to exceed ten thousand dollars, which sum was to be 
taken from the appropriation made to erect a state-prison 
in Albany County, by the act of the twenty-sixth of 
March, 179H. The act also provided that from and after 
the first of November, 1797, the office of the treasurer of 
the state and that of the comptroller should be kept 
within the city and county of Albany, and that from 


and after the first of June, 1798, the court of probates 
hkewise should be kept there. 

The commissioners selected the plat of ground now 
on the southwest corner of State and Lodge streets for 
the site of the Public Building, the corner stone of which 
was laid by the mayor, Abraham Ten Broeck, on the 
thirtieth of May. The building was erected under the 
supervision of William Sanders, the architect, and was 
occupied in August, 1 798, by the government officers for 
whose use it had been built. 

Although Albany was not definitely designated in 1797 
by the legislature as the permanent seat of the govern- 
ment of the state, still there were many manifestations 
that the city was to become the capital of the state of 
New York. This was apparent when, in the spring of 
1797, the ^'elegant house " of James Caldwell, in State 
Street, No. 60, was rented for the residence of Governor 
John Jay. 

The membership of the Reformed Protestant Dutch 
church had become so large that the old meeting-house, 
at the intersection of State and Market streets, was too 
small to seat the congregation that worshipped in it. It 
was therefore determined in I79f) to erect another church- 
building, on the northwest corner of Pearl and Orange 
streets. On Monday afternoon, the twelfth of June, the 
corner-stone was laid by the Rev. John B. Johnson, in 
the presence of a large concourse of people. In the fall 
of 1798, the edifice was completed, and was described as 
" ' a superb and elegant building, finished in the most 
modern style, with two handsome domes or steeples." 
It was called ^'the North church." On its completion, 
eighty-two of the pews in it were sold for $10,371, with 
a reservation of $418 as their annual rent. There were 
then seventy-seven pews that were not sold. 


On the fourth of August, 1797, the city was again 
ravaged by fire. " It broke out " says the editor of the 
Gazette, ''at the hour of 11 o'clock on Friday evening 
last, in a store-house of Mrs. Bradt, near the Middle- 
dock — and notwithstanding the citizens flew to the fire, 
had water in abundance, and used every exertion to ex- 
tinguish it, driven by a S. E. wind, it spread with an 
inconceivable rapidity, and before 3 o'clock, the buildings 
(three houses excepted) on five entire blocks of the city 
were consumed. '" ^ '-'' We are informed that several 
gentlemen, '^* ^ * estimate the number of Dwelling 
Houses at Ninety-five or Ninety-six ; and the number of 
families burnt out at One Hundred and fifty, amounting 
nearly to One Thousand persons. '^' '^ '" We believe 
ourselves within bounds when we state the loss at 250,- 
000 dollars — some imagine it considerably more." The 
buildings burned were on Middle Lane, Dock, Steuben, 
Market, Montgomery, Columbia, Watervliet, Trump and 
Orange streets. 

The clergy of the city, convinced that the fire was 
''the judgment of God," and the cause of it, " the sins 
of the community," recommended the common council 
to set apart Wednesday, the sixteenth of August, " as a 
day of fasting and humiliation and prayer. " By a resolu- 
tion of the board of aldermen, the day designated was 
duly observed as was suggested by the ministers. 

Previous to the fourth of February, 1792, there were 
sixty persons who were recognized as the firemen of the 
city. On that day an act was passed by the legislature 
increasing the number to eighty. On the thirty-first of 
March, 1797, another act was passed, permitting the city 
to have " a number not exceeding one hundred and fifty 

In December, 1797, the Albany Museum was open 


'' on the corner of Green and Beaver streets, opposite Mr. 
Denniston's tavern, every day, Sundays excepted, from 9 
o'clock in the morning till 9 at night." It contained '' a 
number of living animals, and a great variety of other 
natural and artificial curiosities." 

When the news of the death of George Washington 
reached the city, on the tw^enty-third of December, 1799, 
the bells of the churches and the city-hall were tolled 
from three until five o'clock in the afternoon by order of 
the common council, the members of which resolved to 
wear crape round their left arms for the space of six 
weeks, ''as a testimony of respect to the memory of 
Lieut. Gen. Washington, deceased." While the bells 
were tolling, minute guns were fired by the United States 
artillery company stationed in the city, under the com- 
mand of Captain John McClallen. Black drapery was 
hung in the churches, and flags were placed at half-mast 
on the public buildings. On Thursday, the ninth of 
January, 1800, a funeral pageant passed through the 
principal streets in memory of the illustrious chieftain. 

The twenty-second day of February having been set 
apart as a day to commemorate the deeds of Washing- 
ton, the Rev. Matthew O'Brien preached a suitable ser- 
mon in St. Mary's Roman Catholic church at nine o'clock, 
on the morning of that day. At eleven o'clock a proces- 
sion moved from the city-hall, composed of the executive 
and judicial officers of the state, both houses of the legis- 
lature, the corporation and citizens, and proceeded 
through State and Pearl streets to the North church, in 
which the Rev. John B. Johnson, eloquently discoursed 
upon the life and character of Washington ; the Rev. John 
Bassett and the Rev. Eliphalet Nott taking part in the 
solemn exercises. In the afternoon, Major Michael Gabriel 
Houdin delivered an oration in the city-hall. 


At a meeting of a number of Presbyterians, at Wen- 
dell's tavern, on the fourth of October, 1800, who had 
organized themselves into a religious society, James An- 
gus, George Embrie, John Kirk, and Joseph Caldwell, 
were appointed a committee to rent a room suitable for 
a meeting-place for worship and to obtain a minister to 
take the pastoral care of the society. A call having been 
extended to the Rev. John McDonald, the former pastor 
of the First Presbyterian church, the committee reported 
on the sixth of January, 1801, that he had accepted it. 
The following persons were elected trustees of ''The 
United Presbyterian congregation of the city of Albany," 
on the thirty-first of January : Joseph Caldwell, James 
Angus, John Kirk, Alexander Cumming, Alexander 
Watson, John Van Ness Yates, John Grant, George 
Klinck, and George Pearson. 

The Rev. John McDonald first preached to the society 
in the Long room belonging to James Angus, in North 
Pearl Street ; subsequently in the store-room of James 
Caldwell, in State Street. Meanwhile the trustees had 
obtained from the city sufficient ground on the corner of 
Fox (Canal) and Barrack (Chapel) streets for the site of a 
church, the corner-stone of which was laid on Wednesday 
morning, the fifth of October, by the Rev. John McDonald, 
^'in the presence of the trustees and ecclesiastical 
officers of that congregation." The church was first 
opened for public worship on the first Sunday of Jan- 
uary, 1802. The Rev. John McDonald resigned the pas- 
torship of the congregation on the twenty-eighth of 
March, 1819. 

An act to incorporate the proprietors of the Albany 
water- works was passed on the seventeenth of February, 
1802. By it, Stephen Lush, Philip S. van Rensselaer, 
John Tayler, and their associates were made a corporate 


body by the name of ' ' the trustees and company of the 
Albany water- vv^orks. " The stock of the corporation was 
to consist of four hundred shares at one hundred dollars 
each. Conduits for supplying the city with water were 
allowed to be laid by the company through any part of 
Albany and Watervliet. The contract that had been 
made with Benjamin Prescott for laying the conduits 
was not to be annulled. Shortly afterward the company 
declared a dividend of three per cent, on the stock for 
the previous six months. 

The religious society known as the Associate Reformed 
Presbyterian church was regularly organized in January, 
1800. The Rev. Andrew Wilson, in April, 1802, was 
installed pastor of the congregations of the churches in 
Albany and Lansingburgh. On the twenty- fifth of May 
following, John Magoffin, William Mulroy, William 
McGill, David Bleekley, Wilham Muir, John McMillan, 
and Samuel McElroy, were elected trustees of the society. 

The site and size of the Episcopal church in State 
street were so unsuited to the convenience of the con- 
gregation that it was determined to raze the building 
and to erect another on the northwest corner of State 
and Barrack streets. The new edifice, completed in 1804, 
was consecrated on the fourth of October, by Bishop 
Moore. On a tablet set in the wall of the new church 
was the following inscription : ''Grlory be to the Lord 
for he is good — for his mercy endureth forever. Saint 
Peter's church formerly standing in the centre of State 
at its junction with Barrack street. Built A. D. mdccxv 
— Incorporated A. D. mdcclxix. Demolished and this 
edifice erected A. D. mdccch. Thomas Ellison, rector — 
John Stevenson, Goldsbrow Banyer, Church Wardens. 
Philip Hooker, Archt." The church-bell, which had hung 
in the tower on the west side of the old building bearing 


the inscription. ''St. Peter's church, Albany, 1751. J. 
Ogilvie, minister, J. Stevenson, E. Collins, wardens," was 
placed in the steeple of the new structure. 

The management of the business of the Bank of Al- 
bany was in certain ways unfavorable to the interests of 
some of the merchants and manufacturers of the city, 
and the organization of a new banking institution in 
1803, was the natural consequence of it. The projectors 
of the new bank obtained no little commendation for their 
enterprise by a published declaration that they intended 
it ''for a true republican institution." The founders of 
the bank, in February, 18()8, petitioned the legislature to 
permit them to organize a company under the name of 
the New York State Bank. Their petition obtained the 
passage of "an act to incorporate the stockholders of the 
New York State Bank and for other purposes," on the 
nineteenth of March, 1808. By it, the stockholders were 
made a corporate body " by the name of the president, di- 
rectors and company of the New York State Bank. " The 
comptroller of the state of New York (then Elisha Jen- 
kins,) together with John Tayler, Thomas Tillotson, 
Abraham Gr. Lansing, Peter Gansevoort, jr., Elkanah 
Watson, John R. Bleecker, Francis Bloodgood, John 
Robinson, Gilbert Stewart, John D. P. Douw, Richard 
Lush, and Thomas Mather were named the first directors 
of the bank. The capital stock, exclusive of what the 
state might subscribe, was not to exceed four hundred 
and sixty thousand dollai's, a single share having the 
value of fifty dollars. 

On Friday, the twenty-fifth of March, the directors 
elected John Tayler, president, and John W. Yates, 
cashier of the bank. The first banking-house v^as then 
known as No. 58 State Street. The bank began business 
on Wednesday, the seventh of September ; the banking 


hours being from 9 o'clock a. m. to 12 m., and from 2 to 
4 p. M. The discounts were made for fifty-six days. 
The bank's by-laws of 1803 provide that " A com- 
mittee consisting of Two Directors shall be appointed 
Monthly whose duty it shall be to Visit the Vault, ex- 
amine to ^their satisfaction the Cash and Other Effects 
deposited therein." On the tenth of May, 1804, the bank 
began business in the new banking-house, now No. 69 
State Street. 1 

In the summer of 1804, the citizens of Albany were 
informed by an advertisement that I. Wood had taken 
rooms at Mrs. Dole's, next door to the Albany Coffee 
House, corner of Green and Beaver streets, where he 
would take likenesses in profile, for one dollar ; the pro- 
file being called a physiognotrace. 

To provide a more suitable building for the use of the 
legislature, an act entitled ''an act making provision 
for improving Hudson's River, below the city of Albany, 
and for other purposes," was passed the sixth of April, 
1804. The second section of the act ended with the fol- 
lowing statement : '' Whereas the situation of the pre- 
sent court-house in the city of Albany is found by ex- 
perience to be highly inconvenient for the transaction of 
public business, and the corporation of the said city 
having represented to the legislature that they are willing 
to appropriate a lot of ground on the public square of the 
said city, for the site of a public building for the accom- 
modation of the legislature, and for a new city-hall, and 
have prayed that the present court-house, and the lot 
used with the same, might be sold, and the proceeds 
th^eof applied towards erecting and finishing such new 
state- house : Therefore, 

1 The lot was bought from Josiah Townsend. The building was erected 
by Smith & Boardman, superintended by Philip Hooker, architect. 

5 p^ 


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.- 1=3 

S C?i 

^ ^1 



" III. Be it further enacted, That John Tayler, Daniel 
Plale, Phihp S. van Kensselaer, Simeon De Witt and 
Nicholas N. Quackenbush, be and they are hereby ap- 
pointed commissioners for erecting and completing a 
public building in the city of Albany, on a lot to be 
designated for such purpose, as is hereinafter mentioned, 
with sufficient and commodious apartments for the 
legislature, the council of appointment, the courts of 
justice, and for the common council of the said city, upon 
such construction and plan as by them shall be judged 

The corporation was empowered to sell the court- 
house and the ground on which it was built ; the money 
received for them to be paid to the commissioners to be 
applied to the building of the new state-house. The 
supervisors of the city and county of Albany were to 
levy and collect by a tax on the free-holders and in- 
habitants of the county, three thousand dollars, exclusive 
of a similar sum to be raised by the city. The further 
sum of twelve thousand dollars was to be obtained by 
the sale of lottery tickets. 

The ground given by the city authorities for the 
erection of the new state-house, was described as ex- 
tending '' along the west side of the public square, from 
Deer street on the south to Lion street on the north, 
which last is the main street by which the western coun- 
try enters the city.'' 

The Gazette of Thursday, the twenty-fourth of April, 
1806, contains the following paragraph respecting the 
laying of the corner-stone of the building : ' ' Yesterday 
the Corner Stone of the New^ State House, to be erected 
in this city, was laid by the Hon. Philip S.Van Rensselaer, 
Esq., in the presence of the Chancellor, Judges of the 
Supreme Court, members of the Corporation, State House 



Commissioners, and other respectable citizens. The site 
on which the edifice is to be erected is at the head of 
State Street, on the west side of the pubhc square. It is 
to be built of stone— is 100 feet by SO— on an improved 
plan, embracing much elegance with great convenience 
and durability. '' 

The commissioners, in March, 1808, made a report that 
the sum of sixty-nine thousand dollars had been received 
by them for the erection of the building, of which they 
had expended sixty-seven thousand six hundred and 
eighty-eight dollars. They estimated that the further 
sum of twenty-five thousand dollars would be needed to 
complete the structure. The legislature therefore voted 
an appropriation of that amount to complete the state- 
house. In 1809, another appropriation of five thousand 
dollars was made to defray the expenses incurred in 
" procuring the necessary furniture for the rooms in the 
said house for the accommodation of the legislature, and 
towards furnishing of the said building. " Subsequently 
in 1809, a similar sum was appropriated ''for the com- 
pletion of the public building in the city of Albany, which 
building shall hereafter be denominated The Capitol." 

In 1805, the congregation of the Reformed Protestant 
Dutch church, worshipping in the old edifice at the in- 
tersection of State and Market streets, having determined 
to erect a new house of worship on Beaver Street, sold 
the old building for five thousand dollars to the city. In 
the spring of 1806, the demolition of the old church was 
begun. Several of the wealthy families had placed me- 
morial windows in the church, and parts of these were 
now eagerly secured as valued relics. ^ The pulpit, the 
church Bible, the weather-vane, the sand-glass, and a 

1 The Van Rensselaer window was embellished with the armorial bear- 
ings of the family, and contained the inscription : '' Jan Baptist Van Rens- 
selaer, Directevr der Colonie Rensselaer Wyck 1656." That of the Schuylers 


number of other articles are still preserved as curious 

The laying of the corner-stone of the new church was 
thus referred to in the Gazette of Thursday, the first of 
May, 1806 : ''Yesterday the corner stone of the South 
Dutch church in this city was laid by the Rev. Mr. Brad- 
ford — This church, in its plan and style, is much the 
same as that of St. Paul's church in New York, and 
when finished will probably be the most elegant of any 
in this part of the State. It is situated upon the old 
cemetery, between Beaver and Hudson streets, which has 
a front of about 100 feet upon both. Its dimensions are 
102 feet in length, including the steeple and portico, by 
66 in breadth. '^' ^ * This church and the new State 
House now erecting, together with the removal of the 
old Gothic structure, which lately incommoded our 
streets, will in some degree show the extent and rapidity 
of our improvements." 

John Fitch of Bucks County, Pennsylvannia, having 
represented to the legislature of the state of New York 
that he had discovered ''an easy and expeditious method 
of impelling boats through the water by the force of 
steam,'' was vested, on the nineteenth of March, 1T8T, 
with the exclusive right of "navigating all and every 
species of kind of boats or water-craft," that could be 
impelled by steam, for fourteen years, ''in all creeks, 
rivrers, bays and waters " in the state of New York. 
This privilege, however, was annulled by an act of the 
legislature, passed the twenty-seventh of March, 1798. 
By the latter act, Robert R. Livingston was granted the 
same rights that had been obtained by John Fitch, and 

contained those of that family and the inscription : " Filijp Pietersen 
Schuijler, Commissaris 1656." That of the Herbertsen family, besides 
the coat of arms, bore the inscription : " Andries Herbertsen, Commissaris, 


the time given to Eobert E. Livingston was ''extended 
for the term of twenty years from the passage of this act. 
In 1803, another act was passed in which the rights and 
privileges of the act of 1798 were to be extended to 
Eobert E. Livingston and Eobert Fulton for the term of 
twenty years. 

Under the provisions of these acts the steam-boat 
Clermont was constructed. It was launched from the 
ship-yard of Charles Brown, on the East Eiver, in the 
spring of 1807. The engines were made by Boulton & 
Watt, in Birmingham, England. The boat was one 
hundred feet long, twelve wide, and seven deep. 

The following advertisement was inserted in the 
Albany Gazette, on the second of September, 1807, re- 
specting the navigation of the Hudson by the Clermont : 
" The North river steamboat will leave Pauler's Hook 
Ferry on Friday, the 4th of September, at 9 in the morn- 
ing, and arrive at Albany on Saturday, at 9 in the after- 
noon. Provisions, good berths, and accommodations 
are provided. The charge to each passenger is as fol- 
lows : 
" To Newburgh $3 00 Time, 14 hours. 

To Poughkeepsie 4 00 '' 17 '' 

ToEsopus 5 00 " 20 " 

To Hudson 5 50 '' 30 " 

To Albany 7 00 '' 36 " 

''For places, apply to Wm. Vandervoort, No. 48 
Courtlandt Street, on the corner of Greenwich Street. 
Way passengers to Tarry-Town, &c., &c., will apply to 
the captain on board. The steamboat will leave Albany 
on Monday;, the 7th of September, at 9 in the morning, 
and arrive in New York on Tuesday at 9 in the evening. 
She will leave New York on Wednesday morning at 9, 
and arrive at Albany on Thursday at 9 in the evening. 


She will leave Albany on Friday morning at 9, and ar- 
rive at New York on Saturday evening at 9 — thus per- 
forming two voyages from Albany and one from New 
York within the wxek. On Monday, the 14th, and on 
Friday, the 18th, she will leave New York at 9 in the 
morning, and Albany on the 16th at 9 in the morning, 
after which the arrangements for her departure will be 
announced. For passage apply at the Tontine coffee 
house, Stebbins's stage house, or to the captain on board, 
where a book will be kept to enter names." 

The departure of the Clermont from New York, on 
Friday, the fourth of September, and her arrival at Al- 
bany are thus spoken of by a New York newspaper and 
the Albany Gazette, the latter having taken the first 
paragraph from the former : 

" North River Steamboat. — This morning at 6 o'clock 
Mr. Fulton's steamboat left the ferry stairs at Courtlandt 
street dock for Albany. She is to make her passage in 
36 hours from the time of her departure, touching at 
Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Esopus, and Hudson in her 
way. We understand she had 24 passengers- 

' ' The steamboat arrived at Albany on Saturday fore- 
noon, and this morning [the seventh of September] at 9 
o'clock again departed for New York with about 40 ladies 
and gentlemen passengers." 

The side- wheels of the Clermont were at first un 
covered. Each wheel had twelve paddles. The top of 
the smoke-stack was about thirty feet above the deck. 
The boat had two masts, fore and aft, bearing square 
sails when the wind was fair. Her boiler was of copper, 
and about eight feet long. In 1808, she was length- 
ened to one hundred and fifty feet, and widened eighteen, 
and her name changed to the North River 

In 1809, the Car of Neptune was built and began to 


ply between New York and Albany. In 1811, the Hope, 
the Perseverance, and the North River were plying be- 
tween the two cities. In 1812, the Paragon, the Car of 
Neptune, and the North River were the boats running on 
the Fulton and Livingston line. 

In 1812, the steamboat Fire-fly began running between 
Albany and Troy ; leaving Troy at seven o'clock in the 
morning and at one in the afternoon. Ten o'clock in the 
morning and four o'clock in the afternoon were the hours 
of her departure from Albany. 

The exhibition of a male and feaiale tiger from Asia 
at the Thespian hotel, in Pearl street, in November, 1808, 
was attended by a large number of citizens, who had been 
''invited to lose no time in visiting these extraordinary 
animals, as there never was and probably never would 
be exhibited animals so worthy of their attention." 

When in November, 1809, the bell w-as taken from 
the belfrey of the court-house, on the northeast corner 
of Court and Hudson streets, and placed in the one on 
the capitol, the common council, deeming that the in- 
habitants were ''in a great measure deprived of the 
benefit of the 12 and 8 o'clock bell, which, by ancient 
custom," had " been established and continued " in the 
city, ordered the bell in the North church to be rung at 
those hours, in the manner and for the same length of 
time as had been the custom to ring the bell of the old 
church formerly at the intersection of Market and State 

A plat of ground, at the corner of Lutheran (Howard) 
and Eagle streets, having been selected as the site for a 
prison and county -jail, the w^ork of laying the foundation 
was begun in the spring of 1810. On Monday, the thir- 
tieth of July, the mayor, Philip S. van Rensselaer, laid 
the corner-stone, in the presence of the common council 


and a number of interested citizens. The building 
was to be sixty-two feet square, and three stories high. 

The incorporation of a third bank was the subject of 
considerable discussion in the newspapers in March, 1811. 
The projectors of the institution having petitioned the 
legislature to pass an act incorporating them and their 
associates as a company under the name of the Mechan- 
ics' and Farmers' Bank, the Albany Eegister thus speaks 
of their application : 

' ' Those who apply for this institution are generally 
mechanics and middling traders, whose wealth is the 
fruit of their honest industry, and whose talents and 
integrity in their pursuits entitle them to the patronage 
of an enlightened legislature. ^' '^ ^ To our fellow 
mechanics then, of the city of Albany, we recommend a 
cordial union in support of an institution calculated for 
their good, and for the fairness and liberality of whose 
operations they have a sufficient pledge in the integrity 
of those with whom the plan originated, who have brought 
it to its present state of maturity, and have been the first 
to step forward and claim for it the sanction of the 
legislature. It is no child of party, no offspring of mo- 
nopolizing speculation, but has its origin solely in a regard 
for the common good of those who if they did not pro- 
tect their own rights, will look in vain for their pro- 
tection from any other source." 

The petition of the projectors was complied with, and 
the legislature, on the twenty-second of March, 181 J, 
passed ''an act to incorporate the stockholders of the 
Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank in the city of Albany." 
The name under which the institution was to do business 
until the first of June, 1831, was that of "the president, 
directors and company of the Mechanics' and Farmers' 
Bank in the city of Albany." The bank was to be under 


the management of thirteen directors, " a majority of 
whom, at least," were to ''be practical mechanics." 
The directors were required by the act to elect one of 
their number annually as president of the bank, who 
was to be a mechanic. The capital stock, exclusive of 
that subscribed by the state, was not to exceed six hun- 
dred thousand dollars. The first directors named in the 
act were : Benjamin Knower, John Bryan, Elisha Dorr, 
Solomon Southwick, Spencer Stafford, Isaac Denniston, 
Benjamin van Benthuysen, William Fowler, George 
Merchant, Thomas Lenmngton, Giles W. Porter, Willard 
Walker, and Walter Weed. 

At a meeting, held in the Columbian hotel, on Court 
Street, on Monday, the first of June, 1812, all the per- 
sons named in the act were elected directors of the bank 
except Spencer Stafford and John Bryan, Peter Boyd 
and Isaac Hutton being elected instead of them. Im- 
mediately thereafter the directors elected Solomon South- 
wick president, and Gorham A. Worth, cashier of the 
bank. The banking-house near the northeast corner of 
Court street and Mark Lane, was known as No. 6, Court 
Street, and was next door north of the bank of Albany, 
No. 8 Court Street. 

Th6 act incorporating the Albany Insurance Company 
was passed the eighth of March, 1811. The number of 
shares were not to exceed five thousand ; each share being 
one hundred dollars. The directors named in the act 
were : Elisha Jenkins, Philip S. van Rensselaer, Isaiah 
Townsend, Dudley Walsh, Henry Guest, jr., Charles Z. 
Piatt, Simeon De Witt, Stephen Lush^ Charles D. Cooper, 
Thomas Gould, John Woodworth, Peter Gansevoort, and 
Christian Miller. 

The Albanj^ Lancaster School Society was incor- 
porated by an act of the legislature passed the twenty 


sixth of May, 1812. The school was to bo conducted on 
the plan suggested by Joseph Lancaster of England. 
William A. Tweed Dale was made principal of the 
school, which was first conducted in the upper part of 
the Mechanics' Society building, on the northwest corner 
of Chapel and Columbia streets. In 1815 the erection 
of a school building was begun on the southwest corner 
of Eagle and Tiger (Lancaster) streets. The building is 
now known as the Albany Medical College. It was 
formally opened on the fifth of April, 1817. In 1831, the 
school conducted in it was discontinued. 

On the eighth of November^ 1812, when Commodore 
Oliver Hazard Perry passed through the city from Lake 
Erie, he was presented in the capitol with an elegant 
sword and the freedom of the city in a gold-box by the 
patriotic citizens. The commodore was entertained at 
the Eagle tavern during his brief stay in the city. On 
the twenty-eighth of the same month, Captain Buckley's 
company of Albany volunteers and Captain Walker's 
artillery company returned to the city, after an absence 
of three months on Staten Island. The citizens of Al- 
bany, during the war of 1812, established a fund of 
many thousand dollars to encourage the enlistment of 
men in the several companies raised in the city. The 
Albany regiment won considerable distinction for its 
achievements during the war. Lieutenant-colonel Mills, 
one of its brave officers, was killed in an engagement 
at Sackett's Harbor. 

For a number of years different theatrical companies 
had given performances in the Assembly room, known 
as Angus' Long room, in Pearl Street. The first edifice 
used especially for a theatre ^was erected on the Ts^est 
side of Green Street, near Hamilton Street, in 1812. It 
was built of brick ; its dimensions were fifty-six by 


one hundred and ten feet. It was opened on the night 
of the eighteenth of January, 1818, under the manage- 
ment of John Bernard, a well-known English actor 
from Boston, the plays being The West Indian and 
Fortune's Frolic. The opening address, spoken by Mr. 
Southey, was written for the occasion by Solomon South- 
wick, one of the editors of the Albany Register. 

The long and distinguished career of the Albany 
Argus began on Tuesday, the twenty-sixth of January, 
1818, when Jesse Buel, a professional printer and an 
able journahst published the first number of the paper. 
A bold aggressiveness in the field of politics is declared 
in the prospectus : " The character of the Albany Argus 
will be decidedly Republican. It will support w4th zeal 
the National Administration, in the arduous conflict in 
which it is now engaged, in support of our national 
rights, sovereignty and independence, against the enemy 
who has allied himself with the savages of America and 
the pirates of Algiers. It will advocate a vigorous prose- 
cution of the war, until the wrongs of our seamen are 
redressed, their rights recognized, and our commerce 
freed from European shackles. " The paper was ' 'printed 
on Tuesdays and Fridays, in Store-Lane, between Wash- 
ington and Green streets." The publication of the Al- 
bany Argus as a daily paper began on the eighteenth of 
August, 1825. 

The first Albany directory, edited and compiled by 
Joseph Fry, was published by Websters and Skinners, 
in June, 1818. It was a pamphlet of sixty pages and 
contained about sixteen hundred and forty names. 

In 1818, a second congregation of Presbyterians was 
formed, and the erection of a church begun on the west 
side of Chapel Street, between Pine Street and Maiden 
Lane. The Rev. William Neill laid the corner-stone on 


Monday, the eleventh of October, in the presence of a 
large number of interested persons. The stone building 
was to be sixty-eight by ninety-nine feet, including the 
tower. The four trustees were : James Kane, John L. 
Winne, Nathanael Davis, Joseph Russell, and Roderick 
Sedgwick. On Sunday, the third of September, 1S15, 
the church was dedicated, the Rev. William Neill preach- 
ing an appropriate sermon. Ninety pews were sold on 
the following Tuesday, from which the church obtained 
more than thirty -five thousand dollars. 

In 1813, the Methodists erected a meeting-house on 
Division street. The church was dedicated on the nine- 
teenth of December of that year. 

The distinguished scholar, Horatio Gates Spafford, 
in his Grazetteer of the state of New York, printed at 
No. 94, State Street, by H. C. Southwick, in 1813, thus 
speaks of the site, appearance, and business of the city 
at that time : 

' ' A low alluvial flat extends along the river, and in 
the rear of this rises the river-hill, abruptly, to near the 
height of the plain which extends to Schenectady. This 
flat is from 15 to 100 rods wide ; and the hill, which is 
composed of alternate strata of fine blue fetid clay and 
silicioQS sand, though deeply gullied by some small 
water-courses, rises, within i mile of the river in the 
direction of State-Street, till it gains an elevation of 153 
feet ; thence, for another half mile, the ascent is about 
60 ; making about 220 feet above the level of the river 
in the distance of 1 mile. ^ ^' ^ 

''Agreeable to the Census of 1810, the whole popu- 
lation of the City of Albany was 9356, of which number 
were 4444 white males, 4157 white females, 501 other 
free persons not taxed, and 254 slaves ; and the whole 
number of houses within the city 1450. '^ ^ ^ 


''There are now at Albany about 12^000 inhabitants, 
1800 houses and stores, many of which are very exten- 
sive, large and elegant, and a large proportion of which 
are of brick, 10 houses for public worship, the Capitol 
or State-House, and another for the public Offices, an 
old City-Hall, an elegant new jail, the old one of brick, 
which is to be demolished, 3 banks, with 2 elegant bank- 
ing-houses, an alms-house, a mechanic hall, Uranian- 
hall, library-house, a powder-house belonging to the 
state, and one also for the city, a large state arsenal for 
public stores, 2 market-houses, a theatre now building, 
and many elegant private mansions and gentlemen's 
seats, with a great variety of manufactories, some of 
which are very extensive. 

" Of the shipping belonging to Albany, I am not pre- 
cisely informed ; but agreeable to information derived 
from the Dock-Master, there are 50 Albany sloops that 
pay wharfage by the year ; 60 belonging to Troy, Lan- 
singburgh and Waterford ; 26 from Tarry-Town and 
New York ; 70 from New Jersey and the Eastern States, 
including 20 schooners ; in all 206 ; — and about 150 from 
dfferent places have paid wharfage by the day, being 
engaged in different kinds of trade, during the season 
of 1812 : — making a total number of 356. 

''The quantity of wheat purchased annually in Al- 
bany, is immensely great ; and good judges have esti- 
mated it at near a million bushels. Other grain, and 
every article of the agricultural and other common pro- 
ducts of this country, nearly in the same proportion, 
swell the aggregate of exports from this city to an 
enormous amount. It will be observed that the great 
roads of communication between the Eastern States and 
the Western Country, centre more extensive intercourse 
at Albany, than at any other place between the Eastern 


and Western sections of the Union. And it is doubted 
if there be a place on this continent which is daily 
visited by so many teams ; and Albany probably 
possesses greater wealth, more I'eal capital, than any 
other place in the United States, containing the same 

" There are three banking companies in this city, the 
Bank of Albany, the New York State Bank, and the 
Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank, with an aggregate capi- 
tal of 1,380,000 dollars ; and the Albany Insurance 
Company is incorporated with a capital of 500,000 dol- 
lars. The city is supplied with water by aqueducts of 
considerable extent ; and a new Reservoir of hewn stone, 
recently erected on the hill near the Capitol, which 
is designed to ensure a more abundant supply, is an 
excellent work of the kind. This Reservoir is filled with 
water from a spring about 3 miles distant, which it dis- 
charges through smaller aqueducts to furnish a sepa- 
rate supply to each family. 

''Among the public buildings, the Capitol challenges 
distinguished attention. This building stands at the 
head of State- Street, adjoining the public square, and 
on an elevation of 1 30 feet above the level of the Hud- 
son. It is a substantial stone building, faced with free- 
stone taken from the brown sand-stone quarries on the 
Hudson below the Highlands. The east front, facing 
State-Street, is 90 feet in length ; the north, 115 feet ; 
the walls are 50 feet high, consisting of 2 stories, and a 
basement story of 10 feet. The east front is adorned 
with a portico of the Ionic order, tetrastyle ; the columns 
4 in number, are each 3 feet 8 inches in diamater, 33 
feet in height, exclusive of the entablature which suj)- 
ports an angular pediment, in the tympanum of which 
is to be placed the Arms of the State. The columns, 


pilasters, and decorations of the door and windows are 
of white or grey marble, from Berkshire county in 
Massachusetts. The north and south fronts have each 
a pediment of 65 feet base, and the doors are decorated 
with columns and angular pediments of free-stone. The 
ascent to the hall at the east or principal front, is by 15 
stone steps, 48 feet in length. —This hall is ^^H feet in 
length, 40 feet in width, and !(> in height, the ceiling of 
which is supported by a double row of reeded columns ; — 
the doors are finished w^ith pilasters and open pediments ; 
the floor vaulted, and laid with squares of Italian marble, 
diagonally, chequered with white and grey. From this 
hall, the first door on the right hand opens to the Com- 
mon Council Chamber of the Corporation of Albany ; 
opposite this, on the left, is a room for the Council of 
Revision. On the right, at the W. end of the hall, you 
enter the Assembly Chamber, which is 56 feet long, 50 
wide, and 28 feet in height. The Speaker's seat is in the 
centre of the longest side, and the seats and tables of the 
members are arranged in front of it, in a semi-circular 
form. It has a gallery opposite the Speaker's seat, sup- 
ported by 8 antique fluted Ionic columns ; — the frieze, 
cornice, and ceiling piece, (18 feet diameter,) are richly 
ornamented in Stucco. — From this hall, on the left, you 
are conducted to the Senate Chamber, 50 feet long, 28 
wide, and 28 feet high, ^ finished much in the same style 
as the Assembly Chamber. In the furniture of these 
rooms, with that of the Council of Revision, there is a 
liberal display of public munificence, and the American 
Eagle assumes an Imperial splendor. There are 2 other 
rooms on this floor adjoining those first mentioned, 

1 " This violation of architectural proportions, is a deviation from the 
design of the Architect, Mr. Philip H. Hooker, of this city, whose abilities 
and correctness in the line of his profession are universally acknowledged." 


which are occupied as lobbies to accommodate the memi- 
bers of the Legislature. 

" From the Avest end, in the centre of the hall, you 
ascend a staircase that turns to the right and left lead- 
ing to the Galleries of the Senate and Assembly Cham- 
bers, and also to the Suprejne Court room, which is 
immediately over the hall ; its dimensions are 50 feet in 
length, 40 in breadth, and 22 in height. This room is 
handsomely ornamented in Stucco. An entresole or 
mezzazine [mezzanine] story, on each side of the Court 
room, contains 4 rooms for Jurors and the uses of the 

' ' The attic story contains a Mayor's Court room, a 
room for the Society of Arts, and 2 other rooms yet un- 
appropriated. This building is roofed with a double- 
hip, or pyramidal form, upon the centre of which is 
erected a circular cupola, 20 feet diameter, covered with 
a domical roof, supported by 8 insulated columns of the 
Ionic order, and contains a small bell for the use of the 
courts. The centre of the dome sustains a pedestal, on 
which is placed Themis, facing State-Street, a carved 
figure in wood of 11 feet in height, holding a sword in 
her right hand, and a balance in her left. The whole 
cost of the building, 115,000 dollars ; and I regret to say 
that the roof is covered with pine instead of slate, with 
which the state abounds, and of an excellent quality. 

' ' The house erected by the Government for the chief 
Officers of State, is a large substantial brick building, 
situated on the S. side of State-Street. The Albany 
Bank is a brick edifice of 3 stories on the E. corner of 
Market and State-Streets, opposite the Post-Office, and 
facing the Capitol, at the distance of IDOo feet. The 
JNew-York State Bank is situated on the N. side of State- 
Street, between Pearl and Market Streets, and presents 


a modestly ornamented brick front, conceived in the 
happiest style of ornamental elegance. Of the Churches, 
or houses dedicated to Religious purposes, that called 
the South Dutch Church, situated between Hudson and 
Beaver Streets, exhibits unquestionably the finest speci- 
ment of the arts to be found in this city, in any public 
building. '^ *^ ^' This building belongs to the Reformed 
Dutch Congregation, very numerous and respectable, 
and probably the richest Mi the state, next to one or two 
in the city of New York. The old Dutch Church that 
formerly stood in State-Street, was taken down in 1806, 
and the stone and other materials from that are em- 
ployed in the erection of the South Church, which is not 
yet quite finished. A portico, steeple, bell, and town 
clock are to be added, when it will have cost about 
100,000 dollars. Its pews now yield an annual income 
of 770 dollars. The North Dutch Church, situated on 
the W. side of Pearl-street, has been erected some years, 
and belongs to the same congregation as the above. It 
is a large brick edifice, of good proportions, and has 2 
steeples, in which are a bell and a town clock. The rent 
of its pews yields an annual income of 620 dollars. 
Whole cost of the building about 50,000 dollars. 

' ' The Presbyterian Church is a plain brick edifice, 
and has a steeple, bell and town clock. It is a neat 
building in modern style, sufficiently elegant, standing 
at the corner of Washington and Beaver Streets. 

''The Episcopal Church is on the N. side of State 
Street, a durable stone building of good appearance, and 
very just proportions. Its steeple is unfinished, but it 
has an elegant church organ. 

''The German Lutheran Church is a small building 
with a steeple, bell and organ, standing nearly opposite 
the Presbyterian Church, in Washington-Street. 


'' A Roman Catholic Chapel, and a small Presbyte- 
rian Church, with the City Library and Mechanic Hall, 
are situated on the W. side of Chapel-Street. A Metho- 
dist Meeting-House stands on the East side of Pearl- 
Street, opposite the North Dutch Church ; and there is 
a Seceder's Church in the N. part of the city of in the 

' ' The Arsenal, is a large brick edifice, filled with 
military stores belonging to the State of New York and 
the United States, situated in the Village of Colonic. 
The City Powder-House, stands on the plain at the 
Washington Square ; and a Powder-House erected in 
1811, by the state, at the expense of 8,000 dollars, stands 
on an eminence of the plain, near the P> mile-stone. The 
Aims-House is also on the plain, near the Washington 
Square, the annual expense of which, with the support 
of the poor, is about f),000 dollars. The Theatre, now 
building, at an expense of about 10,000 dolls, is situated 
on the W. side of Greene-Street. - ''' *'^' 

''The usual tides at Albany are from 1 to :] or -t feet, 
but variable according to the wind, and the strength of 
the current of the Hudson. ^ '-' - - 

''The city of Albany is governed by a Mayor, Re- 
corder, 8 Aldermen and 8 Assistant Aldermen, denomi- 
nated in the laws, Hhe Mayor, Aldermen and Com- 
monalty.' '^ ''" '•' 

''There are many companies of Firemen, well regu- 
lated, and well provided with engines and other means 
of effective operations. ^' *-' "' 

''As a manufacturing town, Albany is entitled to a 
very respectable rank ; and among its various establish- 
ments connected with manufactures, the extensive 

^The mean tide is 2.46 feet higher than that at Governor's Island, in the 
harbor of New York ; the mean rise and fall being 2.32 feet. 



Tobacco Works of Mr. James Caldwell, an eminent Mer- 
chant of this city, attract early notice. This manufac- 
tory is situated in the northern suburbs of Albany, 
about one mile from the Capitol, and in the township of 
Watervliet, near the mansion-house of the honorable 
Stephen Van Rensselaer, just at the foot of the river- 
hill, and on the margin of mill creek. It was first 
erected about 1785, and was the first considerable to- 
bacco-manufactory in the United States ; but it was des- 
troyed by fire in 1794, and immediately rebuilt — again 
destroyed since, and again rebuilt, by its enterprising 
and indefatigable founder. ''" *"' ^^ There are other 
tobacco manufactories here also, but on a much smaller 

''There are 8 Air-Furnaces in this city, which fur- 
nish castings to a very great amount, and in an approv- 
ed style of excellence. The third one was erected in 
1812, and stands on the plain i mile W. of the Capitol, 
connected with which is an extensive manufactory of 
machinery in wrought-iron and brass also, with black- 
smith's and other tools and implements of trades, hus- 
bandry, &c. ^ ^ '•' 

''Among those of the finer arts, we may enumerate 
5 printing-offices, 2 of which are very extensive estab- 
lishments, and which issue semi- weekly Gazettees. 
•jf If x- ^ manufactory of looking-glasses must not be 
omitted, because useful, rare in this country, produc- 
tive, and the work is well executed. ^ ^ ^ 

' ' The Museum of Mr. Trowbridge, kept in the 8d 
story of the old City-Hall, is a large collection of the 
productions of nature and art. '^' ^ ^ 

"There are now 3 Steam -Boats employed on this 
river, between Albany and New York, (the largest of 
which is 170 feet long and 28 wide, its burthen 850 tons,) 


which perform their passages to Alhany in the average 
time of ?>0 to H8 hours. " '^ " There is also a Steam - 
Boat constantly running hetween this city and Troy, 
for the accommodation of passengers, performing 4 ]ms- 
sages every 24 hours. The puhlic stages are very nu- 
merous that centre in Alhany ; and the facilities which 
these afford of travelling hy land, correspond with the 
importance of the place and the intercourse with every 
part of the country. The line for Utica runs through 
every day ; for New York in *2 days ; for Bennington in 
Vermont in 2 days ; and there are stages for every part 
of the country, with little delay of conveyance." 

On the twenty-fifth of February, 1815, the legisla- 
ture passed ' ' an act to annex the town of Colonie to the 
city of Albany." As described by the act, it was that 
part of the town adjoining the northern limits of the 
city, that extended along the east bounds of the county 
of Albany from the city ' ' to a red cedar post with brick 
around it," planted on the west bank of the river, dis- 
tant twenty-two chains and thirty-six links from the 
south-east corner of the store-house of Stephen van 
Rensselaer. The new city-line ran from the post to 
the west bounds of the town, and thence southwardly 
along its west side to the city limits. . 

By ' ' an act for the sale of the arsenal in the city and 
county of Albany," passed the nineteenth of April, 1815^ 
the surveyor-general of the state was empowered to sell 
the arsenal and its grounds ''in the late Colonie" an- 
nexed to the city, and to apply the money derived there- 
from to the purchase of a site and to the erection thereon 
of a new arsenal ; the site to be within five miles of 
the capitoL 

The first daily newspaper published in Albany was 
issued on the twenty-fifth of September, 1815. It was 


the Albany Daily Advertiser, printed by John W. 
Walker for Theodore Dwight, at No. 95 State Street. 

Although the project of establishing an academy in 
the city was favorably discussed in 1804, yet the erection 
and completion of such an institution were not ac- 
complished until 1817. On the thirteenth of March, 
1813, the regents of the University granted a charter 
incorporating Stephen van Rensselaer, John Lansing, 
Archibald Mclntyre, Smith Thompson, Abraham van 
Vechten, John V. Henry, Henry Walton, the Rev. 
William Neill, the Rev. John M. Bradford, the Rev. 
John McDonald, the Rev. Timothy Clowes, the Rev. 
John Mc Jimpsey, the Rev. Frederick Gr. Mayer, Samuel 
Mervin, the mayor, and the recorder, ex officio, the first 
trustees of the Albany Academy. 

On Saturday afternoon, the twenty-ninth of July, 
1 81 5, at four o'clock, Philip S. van Rensselaer laid the cor- 
ner-stone of the building. A copper plate was deposited in 
the cavity of the stone on which was inscribed the fol- 
lowing memorial: ''Erected for an Academy, anno 
1815, by the corporation of the city of Albany. Philip 
S. Van Rensselaer, Mayor. John Van Ness Yates, Re- 
corder. Building Committee — Philip S. Van Rensselear, 
John Brinckerhoff,*Chauncey Humphrey, James War- 
ren, and Killian K. Van Rensselaer. Seth Geer, Archi- 
tect. H. W. Snyder, Sculpt.'' The building not being 
completed, the school opened on Monday, the eleventh 
of September, in a frame building, on the southeast cor- 
ner of State and Lodge streets, under the superintendence 
of the Rev. Benjamin Allen of Union College, the 
principal. The Rev. Joseph Shaw was professor of 
languages, and Moses Chapin, tutor. On the first of 
September, 1817, the academy-building was occupied 
by the school. Theodric Romeyn Beck, M. D., on the 


resignation of the Eev. Benjamin Allen, was elected 
principal of the institution, in August, 1817, which 
position he held with distinguished ability until his 
resignation, at the close of the summer session in 1848. 

The building is on the northwest corner of the at- 
tractive public square, immediately north of the grounds 
in front of the new capitol. It is constructed of Newark 
free-stone ; the main-building, which is two stories high, 
above the basement story, is seventy by eighty feet, and 
the wings, thirty by forty-five feet. About ninety 
thousand dollars were expended in the erection and com- 
pletion of the academy. 

The corner-stone of the Lutheran church, on the north- 
west corner of Lodge and Pine streets, was laid on Thurs- 
day, the twenty-sixth of September, 1816, by the Rev. 
Frederick George Mayer. The construction of the build- 
ing was under the superintendence of Philip Hookei*, 
the architect. The site of the old church, bounded ''on 
the east by South Pearl, late Washington Street ; on 
the south by the Rutten kill ; on the west by a small 
run of water, called Fort Kilhtie, and on the north by 
Howard, late Lutheran Street," was purchased by the 
city for thirty-two thousand dollars. The site of the 
new church was given the congregation by the city, on 
the condition that the dead should be removed by its 
members from their old burying-ground on Pearl Street. 
The corner-stone of the present church was laid on the 
fourteenth of August, 1869. 

The commercial advantages of navigable water-ways 
between the Hudson River and the western* and north- 
ern lakes were considered to be so important to the 
state that in 1792 the Western and Northern Naviga- 
tion companies were incorporated ; the Western Navi- 
gation company to make the Mohawk navigable by the 


construction of canals and by deepening the channel of 
the river as far as Wood creek, and from that point to 
make other. canals and to deepen other channels to con- 
nect the Mohawk with lakes Ontario and Seneca. The 
Northern company's project was to open a iiavigable 
communication with Lake Champlain. The Western 
company having expended a large amount of money 
in the prosecution of its undertaking, abandoned it in 
the early part of the century. The Northern company 
accomplished little in the construction of its projected 
system of canals and dams. 

In 1815, after the notification of the treaty of peace 
between England and the United States, the project of 
constructing canals between lakes Erie and Champlain 
was considered practicable. On the seventh of February, 
1816, a meeting was held by the interested citizens of 
Albany at the Tontine Coffee-house to discuss the im- 
portance of the canals to the city and the state. To 
secure the passage of the desired act, committees were ap- 
pointed to procure signatures to a memorial addressed 
to the legislature. On the seventeenth of April, 1816, 
''an act to provide for the improvement of the internal 
navigation of this state '' was passed, by which Stephen 
van Eensselaer, DeWitt Clinton, Samuel Young, Joseph 
EUicott, and Myron HoUey were appointed commission- 
ers ''to consider, devise and adopt such measures ''as 
might or should be * ' requisite to f acilite and effect the 
communication, by means of canals and locks, between 
the navigable w^aters of Hudson's river and lake Erie, 
and the said navigable waters and lake Champlain." 
On the fifteenth of April, 1817, the act authorizing the 
construction of ' ' navigable communications between 
the great western and northern lakes and the Atlantic 
Ocean " was passed. 


The first exhibition of the illumination of a building 
in Albany by gas-light was given by Henry Trowbridge, 
the proprietor of the museum, on Saturday, the twenty- 
second of March, 1817. The one hundred and twenty 
burners were inspected as wonderful curiosities by the 
large number of people who visited the museum to see 
the brilliant effects of the new light. 

The freshet in the spring of 1818 was the greatest 
known in forty years. On the third of March, the horse 
ferry-boat was carried by the high water ''about half 
way up to Pearl Street." 

The first society of Baptists in Albany was consti- 
tuted from a number of persons of that denomination 
assembling together for religious worship in their differ- 
ent dwellings in the early part of the year 1810. On the 
twenty-third of January, 1811, the First Particular 
Baptist church was organized with twenty-one members. 
The Eev. Francis Way land was the first pastor of the 
congregation, which he served until 1812, when he 
moved to Troy. On the twelfth of May, 1818, the 
society purchased the ground and the building known 
as the Albany Theatre, on the west side of Green Street. 
The interior having been altered for the use of the con- 
gregation, the building was dedicated on the first of 
January, 1819, by the pastor, the Rev. Joshua Bradley. 
On the fifth of January, 1851, the congregation held its 
last service in the church, the building having been sold 
to the religious society, called the People's church. 

The ' ' act for the establishing of a public library at 
the seat of government " was passed the twenty-first of 
April, 1818. By it the governor, the lieutenant-governor, 
the chancellor and the chief justice of the supreme court 
of the state of New York were constituted a board of 
trustees, who were ''to cause to be fitted up some proper 


room in the capito], for the purpose of keeping therein 
a pubhc hbraiy for the use of the government and peo- 
ple of this state.'' Three thousand dollars were appro- 
priated for the establishment of the library, and a further 
annual sum of five hundred dollars for the yearly pur- 
chase of books. The trustees in IS is appointed John 
( 'Ook librarian. 

In 1819, Benjamin Silliman, professor of chemistry 
in Yale college, on his way to Quebec, passed three days 
in Albany. In his description of the city, he says : 
''There is also a state library, just begun ; it does not 
yet contain 1,000 volumes, but they are well selected, 
and a fund of 500 dollars per annum is provided for its 
increase, besides ;^, 000 dollars granted by the legislature 
to commence the collection. * ^ -^^ 

''Albany is the great thoroughfare and resort of the 
vast western regions of the state; its streets are very 
bustling ; it is said 2,000 wagons sometimes pass up and 
down State Street in a day ; it must hereafter become 
a great inland city. '^ '^' "'' 

""Albany has been memorable in American history. 
It was the rendezvous and the point of departure, for 
most of those armies, which, whether sent by the mother 
country, or, raised by the colonies themselves, for the 
conquest of the Gallo-American dominions, and of the 
savages, so often, during the middle i)eriods of the last 
century, excited, and more than once, disappointed the 
hopes of the empire. It was scarcely less conspicuous 
in the same manner, during the war of the revolu- 
tion and during the late war with Great Britain. 
Few places on this side of the Atlantic, have seen 
more of martial array, or heard more frequently the 
dreadful 'note of preparation.' Still (except perhaps 
in some of the early contests, with the aborigines), 



it has never seen an enemy ; a Jiostile army has never 
encamped before it ; nor have its women and children 
ever seen/ the smoke of an enemy's camp/ More than 
once, however has a foi'eign enemy, after fixing his 
destination for Albany, been either arrested, and turned 
back in his career, or visited the desiied spot in captivity 
and disgrace."^ 

1 A tour to Quebeck in the autumn of is 19. Hy Or. Benjamin Silliman. 
London, 1822. pp. 18, 20, 21. 

iJir^f Isutfieran C^fiurcR. 


THE city's wealth AND PROSPERITY. 


The augmentation of Albany's wealth was not only 
manifested in the increase of the city's trade and com- 
merce and in the appearance of the public buildings and 
l)rivate residences, but also in the large capital of the 
different banking institutions. To encourage the thrift 
of those w^ho by manual labor earned more than their 
daily bread, William James, Charles R. Webster, Jesse 
Buel, John Townsend, and Joseph Alexander, citizens 
of Albany, in bS^O, petitioned the legislature to be made 
a corporate body under the name of the Albany Savings 
Bank, to receive ' ' on deposit such sums of money " as 
might, ''from time to time be offered by tradesmen, me- 
chanics, laborers, minors, servants, and others;'' and 
to invest ''the same in government securities, or in stock 
of the United States, or of this State, for the use, inter- 
est ajid advantage of the said depositors and their legal 
representatives.'' "An act to incorporate the Al])any 
Savings Bank, " was passed the twenty-fourth of March, 

The lirst officers (a president, three vice-presidents 
aiid fifteen trustees) of the institution designated by 
the act were : Stephen van Rensselaer, pi'esident, Wil- 
liam James, first vice-president, Joseph Alexander, sec- 


ond vice-president, John Townsend, third vice-president, 
Charles E. Webster, Jesse Buel, Thomas Russell, Vol- 
kert P. Douw, William Durant, Douw Fonda, Simeon 
DeWitt, Peter Boyd, John Spencer, John L. Winne, 
William McHarg, Matthew Gill, Harmanus Bleecker, 
and Sylvanus P. Jermain, managers; who were ''not 
to receive directly or indirectly any pay or emolument 
for their services,'' nor '' directly borrow '' or *' use the 
funds of the corporation." At the first meeting of these 
officers at the '^Chamber of Commerce Rooms '' on the 
sixteenth of May,- 1S20, Sylvanus P. Jermain was ap- 
pointed secretary ; and at their next meeting, the fifth 
of June following, John W. Yates, then cashier of the 
New York State Bank, was appointed treasurer. 

Deposits were to be received every Saturday after- 
noon, and three trustees, appointed monthly, were with 
the treasurer to receive them. On the tenth of June, 
1820, the first deposits were made ; the money being re- 
ceived at the New York State Bank, with which the 
Savings Bank had made an agreement for the safe keep- 
ing of its funds. The sums placed that day in the 
bank were from one dollar to two hundred dollars, and 
amounted to five hundred and twenty-seven dollars. 
Joseph T. Rice, a silversmith, was the first depositor. 

The Albany Savings Bank was the second incorpora- 
ted savings institution in the state of New York. On 
the fifteenth of March, 1 S2S, a conti-act was made with 
the Commercial Bank to keep and invest the fuiids of 
the Savings Bank. On the first of July, 1S71, the 
business of the bank was continued in the rf)oms pre- 
viously occupied by the First National Bank. The site 
of the new bank-building on the northwest corner of 
State and Chapel streets was purchased in lS78and in 
1 874. The plans for the building were made by Fuller & 


WooUett^ architects. It was erected in 1874 and 1875. 
On the eleventh of May, 1875, the bank began business 
in it. The present officers of the institution are Henry 
H. Martin, president, J. Howard King, first vice-presi- 
dent, Marcus T Hun, second vice-president, Theodore 
Townsend, treasurer, and William Kidd, secretary. 
The deposits in the bank on the first of January, 1884, 
were $8,258,176 64; the assets $9,605,713 74. 

The peculiarly constructed sun-dial recently project- 
ing from the southeast corner of the old capitol build- 
ing was made under the superintendence of James 
Ferguson, a native of Albany. It was modelled after a 
diagram on plate xxxvi, in a work, entitled '^ Lectures 
on Select Subjects," by James Ferguson, an eminent 
Scotch astronomer. The dial was placed on the corner 
of the capitol in August, 1822, by the order of the com- 
mon council of the twenty-second of July : " Resolved, 
That the city superintendent be directed to put up the 
dial at the south-east corner of the capitol building at 
an expense not to exceed $15." 

The celebration of the passage of the first boat from 
the Erie Canal into the Hudson Eiver at Albany, on 
Wednesday, the eighth of October, 1823, was a memora- 
ble event. Although the construction of the great pub- 
lic work was not yet completed, the people of Albany, 
as soon as a boat could be towed on that part of it ex- 
tending northward from the city, determined to in- 
augurate the navigation of the extensive water-way to 
the western lakes by passing several boats from it into 
the Hudson through the new lock immediately north of 
Colonic Street, opposite the north end of the pier. 

A committee of seventy-two citizens of New York 
had been appointed to attend the celebration, and a 
bottle ^f sea-water had been sent to the committee to 


be poured into the water issuing from the canal when 
the lock-gate was opened for the passage of the first 
boat into the Hudson. Major Solomon van Eensselaer 
was made marshal of the day. At sunrise a national 
salute was fired and all the church-bells and those of the 
public buildings were rung. Shortly afterward the 
joint committee proceed to the junction of the Erie and 
Champlain canals, north of Gibbonsville, (West Troy, ) 
to join the canal commissioners and engineers on board 
the first boat that was to pass through the lock at Al- 
bany. When the line of boats arrived at the termina- 
tion of the canal at Albany the cap-stone of the lock 
was laid with Masonic formalities. On the pier the fol- 
lowing military companies under the command of Major 
R. I. Knowlson were in line to receive the first boat 
with the canal commissioners on entering the Hudson: 
Captains Stafford's Dragoons, Bradt's Artillery, Koon's 
Artillery, Durrie's Light Infantry, Dunnes National 
(luards, Cuyler's Governor's Guards, and Fowler's City 
Guards. A detachment of artillerymen with two twelve- 
pounders was posted on the hill near the mansion of the 
late General Ten Broeck to fire a national salute and 
fifty-four rounds in honor of each county in the state 
when the procession started to march to Capitol Square, 
where a pavillion had been erected and where speeches 
were to be made by the mayor, Charles E. Dudley, De Witt 
Clinton president of the board of canal commissioners, 
William Bayard of the New York committee, and Wil- 
liam James of the Albany committee. 

The noteworthy features of the event were thus pro- 
trayed by a writer : ''The pencil can do no justice to 
the scene presented on the fine autumnal morning when 
the Albany lock was opened. Numerous steam boats 
and river vessels, splendidly dressed, decorated the 


beautiful amphitheatre formed by the hills which border 
the valley of the Hudson at this place. - ^v ^ ^ jjj^^ 
of canal boats, with colors flying, bands of music, and 
crowded with people, were seen coming from the north, 
and seemed to glide over the level grounds, which hid 
the waters of the canal for some distance, as if they 
were moved by enchantment. 

' ' The first boat that entered the lock was the De Witt 
Clinton, having on board Governor Yates, the mayor 
and corporation of Albany, the canal commissioners and 
engineers, the committees and other citizens. Several 
other boats succeeded. One (not the least interesting- 
object in the scene) was filled with ladies. The cap 
stone of the lock was laid with Masonic ceremonies by 
the fraternity, who appeared in great numbers and in 
grand costume. 

" The waters of the west and of the ocean were then 
mingled by' Doctor Mitchell, [of the New York com- 
mittee] who pronounced an epithalamium upon the 
union of the river and the lakes, after which the lock 
gates were opened, and the DeWitt Clinton majestically 
sunk upon the bosom of the Hudson. 

' ' She was then towed by a long line of barges, passed 
the steam boats and other vessels, to a wharf at the 
upper end of the city, where those gentlemen who were 
embarked on board the canal boats landed, and joined a 
military and civic procession, which was conducted to a 
large stage, fancifully decorated, erected for the occasion 
in front of the capitol." 

''It was a great day," says another writer, ''cele- 
brated with great pomp, a grand display of all sorts of 
pride and ceremonies, attended, probably, by 80,000 

1 Spafford's Gazetteer. 1823. 


In reviewing the growth of the city in 1S2?>, the 
Daily Advertiser presents these facts : ''Ten years ago 
and the now proud and heautiful Academic square was 
a barren clay bank, variegated by an occasional saw-pit, 
or a group of reclining cows — then the whole of the 
upper part of Columbia Street was a high hill unoccu- 
pied and impassable as a street, and the greater part of 
Chajiel Sti'eet was in rainy weather a complete mud- 

'"Ten years ago, of the whole row of handsome 
dwellings now standing on the south side of the Capitol 
square, only one was then erected ; then Daniels Street 
did not exist, and the whole south part of Eagle Street 
was a most unpromising ravine. " ''* "' 

' ' Ten years ago there were not four families in the 
city who used grates and burned coal fires — their winter 
fuel was laid in at a high price and procured at great 
trouble in New York. Now there is a manufactory here 
which turns out beautiful grates of every variety of 
patterns, and all kinds of coals can be bought in the 
city at any season of the year — consequently a great 
number of families consume coals, as more comfortable, 
safe and economical than wood.'' 

The decision of the supreme court of the second of 
March, 1 (S24, respecting the free navigation of the Hud- 
son river, abrogated the exclusive privileges of the 
North River Steamboat Company, and affirmed the right 
of others to navigate the river from certain points with 
vessels impelled by steam. The Bristol, Henry Eckford, 
and Olive Branch were among the first new boats that 
shortly afterward began to ply upon the river. The 
bursting of the boiler of the steamboat Constitution, 
plying between New York and Albany, on the twenty- 
first of June, 1S25, when opposite Poughkeepsie, led to 


the use of safety barges. In 182f), the safety barges 
Lady Chntoii and Lady Van Rensselaer were respec- 
tively towed by the steamboats Commerce and Swift- 
sure, each being fitted up exclusively for the transpor- 
tation of passengers. Besides these boats of the Steam 
Navigation Company, the Union Line, the North River 
Line, the Connecticut Line, the North River Association 
Line, and the Transportation Company Line had twelve 
boats plying on the river, carrying freight and passen- 
gers to and from Albany. 

The construction of the pier, authorized by the 
legislature on the fifth of April, 1828, was completed in 
May, 1825. It was about four thousand four hundred 
feet long, eighty wide and twenty high. It extended 
along the east side of the basin in which a thousand 
canal boats and fifty large vessels could harbor. 

On the twenty-sixth of October, 1825, the passage of 
the first canal boat from Buffalo into the Albany basin 
was announced by the successive discharge of cannon 
placed along the canal between lake Erie and the Hud- 
son, and along the Hudson, between Albany and New 
York. The Buffalo boat entered the basin at three 
minutes before eleven o'clock a. m. At five minutes be- 
fore twelve o'clock the sound of ''the return fire from 
New York '' reached All)any. 

The opening of the canal from lake Erie to the Hud- 
son was celebrated at All)any on the second of Novem- 
ber, 1825. The celebration is described by the Daily 
Advertiser : ' ' Wednesday last was a proud day for the 
citizens of Albany ; a great day to the citizens of the 
state of New York ; and an important day to the Union ; 
for then we had ocular demonstration that the great 
work of the age is completed, and our inland seas made 
accessible from the ocean. '^ ^ ^ 


''At 10 o'clock the Seneca Chief, with the governor, 
he utenant governor, the Buffalo, Western and New 
York committees on board, came down in fine style, and 
the thunder of cannon proclaimed that the work was 
done ! and the assembled multitudes made the welkin 
]ing with shouts of gladness. '' "'" '' 

''The Seneca Chief was closely followed by the 
Young Lion of the West, from Buffalo, richly laden 
with the products of the West, and having many dis- 
tinguished citizens on board. After passing the lock, 
the two boats were taken in tow by ten yawls, each 
having four rowers and a sloop captain as coxswain, the 
whole under the command of that veteran in river navi- 
gation, Capt. Peter Donnelly, and towed through a 
double line of canal boats, down the basin, and through 
the sloop lock into the Hudson. This sight was par- 
ticularly beautiful, and the repeated cheers of the throng 
on the wharves and bridges was an evidence of the deep 
feeling of joy which filled the hearts of the spectators. 
After the boats arrived in the river, they were towed up 
to the steamboat Swiftsure, on the east side of the 
pier, in front of the centre bridge, on board of which had 
assembled the members of the common council and 
different committees of this city. '^' ''" " At 11 o'clock 
a procession was formed, under the direction of Wel- 
come Esleeck, John Taylor, James Gribbons, jr., and 
Francis I. Bradt, marshals of the day. '"' '-'" ''' The 
procession was very long and respectable.'' 

At the capitol, an ode, written for the occasion by 
John Augustus Stone of the Albany Theatre, was sung. 
Philip Hone of New York, William James of Albany, 
and Lieutenant-governor Tallmadge delivered addresses. 
The exercises wxre followed by a collation at the 
Columbia Street bridge ' ' consisting of the most choice 


viands of our climate, with a plenty of the ' ruby bright ' 
wines of the best vineyards of Europe." At night the 
capitol and the Pearl Street theatre were brightly illumi- 
nated, and besides the recitation of a ''Grand Canal Ode " 
at the play-house, there was ''a brilliant bair' at 
Knickerbacker Hall. 

The Marquis de Lafayette, on his tour through the 
United States, reached Albany by steamboat on the 
seventeenth of September, 1824, and ''was received with 
every poosible demonstration of joy and gratitude." On 
the following day he continued his journey. On the 
eleventh of June, 1825, he again visited the city, and on 
the following day, Sunday, attended church. On Mon- 
day he departed for Boston. He returned on the first 
of July, and was honored with a dinner given by the 
citizens in the capitol that afternoon. The following 
toast was offered by him : ' 'Albany as I have known it, 
and Albany as it is now — a comparative standard be- 
tween royal guardianship and the self government of 
the people ; may this difference be more and more 
illustrated at home, and understood abroad." Daniel 
Webster, who was also present, offered this one : ' ' The 
ancient and hospitable city of Albany ; where Gen. 
Lafayette found his headquarters in 1778, and where 
men of his principles find good quarters at all times." 
After attending the play at the theatre, General Lafay- 
ette went on board the steamboat Bolivar and proceeded 
to New York. 

In November, 1828, a notice was published that an 
application to the legislature would be made for the in- 
corporation of the Commercial Bank of Albany, with a 
capital of five hundred thousand dollars. But it was 
not until the twelfth of April, 1825, that the desired act 
was passed. The capital stock was not to exceed three 


hundred thousand dollars. Commissioners were appoint- 
ed by the act to receive subscriptions for the shares of 
the stock, each share having a value of twenty dollars. In 
three days the subscriptions amounted to more than one 
million five hundred thousand dollars. The chagrined 
opponents of the institution obtained an injunction stay- 
ing the opening of the bank. In August, 182(), it was de- 
cided that the bank might go into operation so far as to 
issue bills and discount notes, but it was prohibited to 
make any transfer of stock, or any loans on pledges of 
stock. Joseph Alexander was elected president of the 
institution, and Harry Barton appointed cashier. The 
bank began business on the fifth of September, 1826, at 
No. 42 State Street. 

The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts 
and Manufactures, incorporated by the legislature on 
the twelfth of March, 1793, and the Albany Lyceum of 
Natural History, incorporated on the twenty -third of 
April, 1S28, were, by articles of association, united on 
the fifth of May, 1824, and named the Albany Institute, 
of which Stephen van Eensselaer was the first president. 
By the act to incorporate the Albany Institute, passed 
the twenty-seventh of February, 1829, the society was 
constituted with three departments: the first depart- 
ment, physical sciences and arts ; the second depart- 
ment, natural history; and the third department, history 
and general literature. 

The Institute holds its meetings in the library-room 
of the association, in the Albany Academy building. 
Its library contains about six thousand books and a 
valuable collection of old newspapers. Its publications 
embrace ten volumes of Transactions and one volume 
of its Field-meetings. 

The legislature having appropriated in 1829 seven- 


teen thousand five hundred dollars to purchase the city's 
right and interest in the capitol and its grounds, the 
corporation bought the site of the present city -hall, on 
Eagle Street, between Pine Street and Maiden Lane. 
The corner-stone was laid on the thirty-first of August, 
1827, by the mayor, John Townsend. The building 
was constructed of Sing Sing marble ; $92,330 91 were 
expended on it. The common council held its first 
meeting in the building on the twenty-fifth of July, 
1831. The city-hall was burned on the tenth of Febru- 
ary, 1880. The corner-stone of the new building was 
laid on the thirteenth of October, 1881. The walls are of 
Bragville granite, trimmed with East Long-Meadow 
brown stone, both taken from quarries near Springfield, 
Massachusetts. The building, including the tower, has 
a frontage of one hundred and twenty feet and a depth 
of one hundred and twenty-five feet. The tower is two 
hundred and ten feet high. The building and its furni- 
ture cost $325,000. The plan of the city -hall was de- 
signed by H. H. Kichardson, architect, of Boston. The 
jail, immediately east of the city-hall on the north side 
of Maiden Lane, was erected in 1852. Criminals were 
confined in it for the first time on the second of June, 

The Albany Evening Journal, which, for more than 
a half -century, has enjoyed a well-deserved popularity, 
began its publication on the twenty-second of March, 
1830. It was first published by B. D. Packard & Com- 
pany as an anti-masonic organ. Thurlow Weed ac- 
cepted the editorship of the paper and obtained for the 
Journal no little celebrity during the thirty-three years 
of his connection with the paper. 

The construction of a railroad from Albany was ap- 
parently first suggested by the publication in 1812 of a 


pamphlet entitled: ^'Documents tending to prove the 
superior advantage of Rail Ways and Steam Carriages 
over Canal Navigation, particularly from Lake Erie to 
Hudson's River." By the ^' act to incorporate the Mo- 
hawk and Hudson Railroad Company, passed April 
17, 1826, Stephen van Rensselaer, George William Fea- 
therstonhaugh and Lynde Catlin were named commis- 
sioners to open subscription-books in the cities of Albany 
and New York for three hundred thousand dollars, the 
capital stock of the company, at one hundred dollars a 

On the twenty -ninth of July, 1880, near Schenectady, 
Stephen van Rensselaer, with a silver spade, broke the 
ground for the construction of the road, the first railroad 
in the state of New York. It was nearly sixteen miles 
long, six of which were on a level, the remainder, ex- 
cept the inclined planes, at each end of it, had a gradient 
of about one foot to two hundred and fifty feet. The 
wooden sleepers, seven inches in diameter and eight feet 
in length, rested on blocks of stone bedded in rubble. 
These ties supported the wooden longitudinals on which 
long bars of iron were placed, three-fifths of an inch 
thick and half an inch wide. The DeWitt Clinton, the 
third railroad engine made in America, was constructed 
for the company at the West Point Foundry, in New 
York City. It was put on the road on the twenty - 
seventh of July, 1831. 

" On the 80th of July an experiment was made with 
the locomotive, but owing to some defect or inexperience 
in burning Lackawanna coal, the speed did not exceed 
seven miles an hour, and it was determined to substitute 
coke. Meantime the road, which was completed and in 
use from the junction of the western turnpike and Ly- 
dius Street, about twelve and a half miles, to the brow 


of the hill at Schenectady, was operated by horse power. 
Besides platform cars used in the construction of the 
road, a number of stage coach bodies were placed upon 
trucks for temporary use, affording seats for fifteen or 
twenty passengers each. On the third of August the 
DeWitt Clinton made the trip in one hour and forty - 
five minutes, and on the 10th they ran two trains each 
way with coke, making a part of the trip at the rate of 
thirty miles an hour ! '-'" '" ^' 

'^On the 17th of September the English locomotive 
[one from Stephenson of England, named ''John Bull,"] 
was on the road. Its power and weight being double 
that of the American engine (12,71:2 lbs.,) great expecta- 
tions were entertained of its efficiency. '" ^' ''' Al- 
though the locomotive DeWitt Clinton had been placed 
on the road in July, and the city officials and other dig- 
nitaries had passed over it both by horse and steam 
power early in August, it was so late as the 22d of Sep- 
tember when the locomotive was advertised to take 
passenger trains. The road was still uncompleted, and 
used only from the junction, as it was called, two miles 
from the foot of State Street, from whence passengers 
were taken to the train by stage coaches. The other 
terminus of the road was still at the bluff overlooking 
Schenectady, where passengers were again transferred 
to stages. The distance traversed was less than thirteen 
miles. " '^ ^ 

^' The precise tirae when the directors of the road felt 
prepared to crown the complete success of their labors 
by a grand excursion, to which were invited the state 
and city officials, and a number of eminent citizens of 
New York, was the 21:th of September, 1881. '^' ^^ ^' 
In the spring of 1832 the road was completed through- 
out its whole line, and the inclined planes being in work- 


ing order, another grand excursion was given on the 
14th of May, extending from the foot of Gansevoort 
street into the heart of Schenectady. This event 
was witnessed by a large assemblage, and attended by 
the firing of cannon. The cars were drawn up the in- 
clined plane by means of a long rope attached to them 
and to a stationary engine at the top, the whole steadied 
and balanced by a car loaded with stone descending on 
the opposite track. ^ ^' '' The same style of railroad 
coaches was still used. In the fall of this year a new 
pattern of car was built in Schenectady, more nearly 
like those now in use, the architectuie of which was 
modeled from Dr. Nott's parlor stove, and was called 
the gothic car. ''" ''^' ^ 

''In January, 1833, the company having erected in 
State Street [north side, between Chapel and Eagle 
Streets] for a hotel the building [No. 119], now [in 1875] 
occupied by the Free Academy, the cars were run by 
horse power from State Street to the junction, where 
they were coupled to the locomotive. ^ -^ -^ j^ 
1839 the terminus at the head of State Street was aban- 
doned, and a depot improvised where the Taylor Brew- 
ery, now [in 1875] stands. Horses were used only to 
draw the coaches to the foot of the incline plane at 
Pearl Street. "1 

The inclined plane was abandoned in 1844, a track 
extending along Patroon creek, on the north side of the 
city, and running thence to the depot, at the foot of 
Maiden Lane, having been laid that year. Trains began 
to run to and from the new depot on the thirteenth of 
September. The railroad between Greenbush and Bos- 
ton having been opened in December, 1841, freight and 
passengers were conveyed across the river by ferry-boats 

J Paper read by Joel Munsell before the Albany Institute, April 20, 1875. 


plying between the wharves at the ternimi of the two 
roads. Maiden Lane, from the river to Broadway, was 
daily the scene of great business activity, the street 
being crowded with vehicles and the sidewalks with 
people. Stanwix Hall, on the southeast corner of Maiden 
Lane and Broadway, erected in IS38, now" became the 
favorite stopping-place of a large number of travelers. 
In April, 1844, the old hotel on the northeast corner of 
Broadway and Steuben Street was demolished, and on 
its site E. C. Delavan erected the Delavan House, which 
soon acquired the popularity that this well-known hotel 
still possesses. 

In the summer of 1S8:> the cholera prevailed with 
extreme malignancy and more than four hundred per- 
sons died in the city with the disease. Six hundred and 
thirty-two cases were reported in July, of which num- 
ber of persons afflicted two hundred and eight died. In 
August there were five hundred and twenty-five cases, 
and one hundred and ninety-three deaths from cholera. 
The population of the city was about twenty-six thou- 
sand. In August, 1834, a number of cases were again 
reported, but the deaths from the epidemic did not 
exceed thirty. 

The act to incorporate the City Bank of Albany was 
passed the thirtieth of April, 1834. Thirteen commis- 
sioners were appointed by the act to receive subscriptions 
for the capital stock of five hundred thousand dollars, 
divided into five thousand shares of one hundred dollars 
each. The subscription-books were opened on the ninth 
of June, and when they were closed two days there- 
after, the subscriptions amounted to $1,142,900. On 
the twenty-fourth of July thirteen directors of the 
institution w^ere elected at the City Hotel. By them 
Erastus Corning was made president and Watts Sher 


man cashier of the bank. The bank began busmess on 
the first of October, 1884, in the building then No. 38 
State Street. 

Dr. Alden March of Massachusetts began in 1821 a 
course of lectures on anatomy with dissections to a class 
of fourteen students in a building on Montgomery street, 
north of Columbia street. In 1830 he delivered a public 
lecture on the ' ' propriety of establishing a medical col- 
lege and hospital in Albany.'' In 1835 Dr. James H. 
Armsby, who had attended the lectures of Dr. March, 
became a teacher of anatomy in the school. In May, 
1838, the Lancaster School building, on the southwest 
corner of Lancaster and Eagle streets, was leased to the 
trustees of the college. The names of the following 
persons were reported at the meeting of the trustees in 
the latter part of May to compose the faculty of the 
institution : Alden March, professor of surgery ; James 
H. Armsby, anatomy and physiology ; Amos Dean, med- 
ical jurisprudence ; Ebenezer Emmons, chemistry and 
pharmacy ; Henry Greene, obstetrics and diseases of 
women and children, and David M. McLachlan, materia 
medica. Subsequently, David M. Reese was appointed 
professor of the theory and practice of medicine. The 
first course of lectures began on the third of January, 1839, 
in the Lancaster school building, fifty-seven students 
attending them. The institutioji was incorporated on the 
sixteenth of February, 1839. The degree of doctor of 
medicine was conferred on thirteen graduates at the com- 
mencement on the twenty-fourth of April, 1839. In 
April, 1873, the institution was constituted a part of 
Union University. Sixteen hundred and fifty-seven 
students have graduated from the college. 

The organization of the Albany Exchange Bank had 
its inception at a meeting held in Samuel Stevens' office 


on the twenty-first of September, 1838. At a meeting 
in the American Hotel, on the twenty-fifth of October, 
John Q. Wilson Avas elected president of the association. 
The capital stock having been increased to four hundred 
thousand dollars, and George W. Stanton having been 
elected president, and Noah Lee cashier of the institu- 
tion, the bank began business on the sixteenth of Sep- 
tember, 1889, in the Exchange Building, erected in 1886 
and 1887, on the northeast corner of State and Market 
Streets, now the site of the Government Building. In 
1 856 the institution was removed to the new bank-build- 
ing, No. 450 Broadway. 

On the first of April, 1884, the legislature appointed 
a board of trustees to purchase land in the vicinity of 
the capitol to erect thereon a new state-hall. The plat 
of ground on the east side of Eagle Street between 
Steuben and Pine Streets was selected for the building, 
the erection of which was not completed until 1842. It 
was built of Sing Sing marble, and cost three hundred 
and fifty thousand dollars. When it was completed, 
the different apartments in it were occupied by the 
chancellor, the judges of the supreme court, the register 
of the court of chancery, the secretary of state, the 
comptroller, the treasurer, the attorney-general, the 
surveyor-general, the adjutant-general, the clerk of 
the supreme court, the canal-board and the canal-com- 
missioners. The old state-building, on the southwest 
corner of State and Lodge Streets, was then fitted up 
for the reception and display of the various specimens, 
maps, figures and illustrations collected and prepared 
by the state geological corps. In the summer of 1855, 
the old state-building was demolished and the present 
hall containing the geological and agricultural rooms 
was erected on its site. By an enactment of the legis- 


lature in 1883 the present state-hall, when vacated by 
the state officers, is to become the state-mnseum of 
natural history. 

The Albany Morning Express, a penny daily paper, 
published by Stone & Henly, and edited by James Stan- 
ley Smith, began its first career on the thirteenth of 
September, 1847, with a sale of sixteen hundred copies. 
Four other daily newspapers were published at that time 
in the city. 

On the seventeenth of August, 1848, the most densely 
populated part of the city was ravaged by fire. The 
sjjace on which were the six hundred buildings that 
were burned is described as extending ''700 feet 
west from the river on Herkimer Street, 850 on 
Dallius, running northwardly ; 900 feet on Union Street, 
continuing in the same direction ; 300 feet east on Hud- 
son, and 1600 on Quay Street, running south." By a 
strong south wind the fire swept northward from the 
corner of Broadway and Herkimer Streets, where it 
began in a shed adjoining the Albion Hotel, to ''the cut 
at the foot of Maiden Lane." The loss was estimated at 

The imposing edifice, the cathedral of the Immacu- 
late Conception, built on the west side of Eagle Street, 
between Madison Avenue and Jefferson Street, was 
dedicated by Archbishop Hughes, on the twenty-first 
of November, 1852, who had laid its corner-stone on 
the second of July, 1848. The attractive building has 
a frontage of ninety -five feet and a depth of one hun- 
dred and ninety-five. The nave has a length of one 
hundred and twenty-five feet, and the transept ninety- 
six feet. The cathedral has twenty-five hundred sit- 
tings. About two hundred thousand dollars were 
expended in its construction and decoration. It is a 


magnificent memorial of the love and liberality of the 
Eoman Catholics of the diocese of Albany. 

The state library in 1854 was removed to the fire- 
proof building on the west side of the capitol, fronting 
on State Street, erected conformably to the act of the 
legislature passed June IH, 1851. It was a two-story 
brick structure (the front and rear walls having faces of 
brown freestone) one hundred and fourteen feet long 
and forty-five wide. The large lower room contained 
the law library ; the upper, the general library. In the 
first report of the trustees of the library, made the 
twenty-second of June, 1819, the statement appears that 
the sum of $2,617.20 had been expended for the pur- 
chase of six hundred volumes and nine maps. In the 
first catalogue, made In 1820, are printed the titles of 
seven hundred and fifty-eight volumes, three atlases, 
eleven maps and one engraving. By an act, passed the 
fourth of May, 1814, the regents of the University of 
the state of New York were made the trustees of the 
state library. In 1855 the general library contained 
thirty thousand and eleven volumes, and the law library 
thirteen thousand six hundred and twenty-three. At the 
present time there are about eighty-eight thousand two 
hundred and fifty volumes in the general library, and 
thirty-five thousand seven hundred and fifty in the law 
library. In the months of September and October, 1888, 
previous to the demolition of the library-building, the 
books and collections in the two library rooms were 
removed to the new capitol, the law library into the 
golden corridor, and the general library into the room 
that was to be used by the court of appeals. When 
completed, the libraries will hereafter occupy rooms in 
the third story of the capitol, on the east side. John 
Cook, Calvin Pepper, James Mahar, William Cassidy, 


and John L. Tillinghast were successively librarians of 
the state library previous to its removal into the library - 
building in 1844. From that time to the present, the 
librarians have been John L. Tillinghast, appointed by 
the regents June 1, 1844; Alfred B. Street, March 1, 
1848, who, from April 22, 1862, to June 8, 18(>8, was 
librarian only of the law library ; he was succeeded June 
8, 1868, by Stephen B. Griswold, the present librarian of 
the law library. Henry A. Homes, who had been assist- 
ant librarian from September 11, 1851, on the twenty- 
second of April, 1862, became the librarian of the gen- 
eral library, which office he still retains. George E. 
Howell, the assistant librarian in the general library, 
was appointed to the office on the fifteenth of February, 

The meeting in the capitol of the American as- 
sociation for the advancement of science, that began on 
the twentieth of August, 1856, was attended by a large 
number of its distinguished members and by many other 
eminent men. On the twenty-seventh of August the 
state-geological hall was dedicated; Louis J. E. Agassiz 
and other members of the American association delivered 
addresses. On the following day the commemorative 
exercises of the inauguration of the Dudley Observa- 
tory, erected in 1853 and 1854 on a plat of high ground 
about three-fourths of a mile northeast of the capitol, 
took place beneath a large awning in Academy Square. 
Edward Everett of Boston delivered the dedicatory ad- 
dress. Mrs. Blandina Dudley, as a tribute to the memory 
of her husband, Charles E. Dudley, gave first a contribu- 
tion of twelve thousand dollars for the erection of the 
observatory building. To honor this tribute the trus- 
tees gave the institution the name of the Dudley Observa 
tory. This contribution and her subsequent gifts to the 


institution were in all one hundred and five thousand 
dollars. The donations of other contributors aggregate 
about one hundred thousand dollars. Besides the 
astronomical observatory, there are two other buildings, 
the meteorological and the physical observatories. The 
first is built of brick and freestone, the ground plan 
representing a cross, eighty-four by seventy-two feet. 
The astronomical instruments and other apparatus are 
elaborate and valuable. 

The attractive architecture of St. Joseph's Eoman 
Catholic church, on the corner of Ten Broeck and Sec- 
ond streets, makes the building one of the most ad- 
mired in the city. Five years were given to its erec- 
tion. The edifice represents the Benedictine architecture 
of the thirteenth century. The building was dedicated 
on the thirteenth of May, 1880. 

The reception of Abraham Lincoln, en route to Wash- 
ington, on the afternoon of the eighteenth of February, 
1861, was made memorable by the extraordinary dis- 
play of the patriotism of the people of Albany. A great 
freshet had caused a flood, and the president-elect, his 
wife, and the accompanying delegations were taken in 
the Hudson River train the next morning on the Sara- 
toga railroad to Green Island where the cars crossed 
the bridge to Troy and thence proceeded to New York. 

The notable loyalty of the citizens during the war of 
the rebellion was expressed in innumerable ways. For 
the preservation of the union of the states and the main- 
tenance of the power of the federal government, Albany 
not only generously contributed a large number of brave 
officers and valiant soldiers to honor her fealty with the 
loss of their lives, but with unstinted generosity she 
made appropriations of great sums of money to increase 
the number of the defenders of the nation's flag. 


The humanity of her patriotic people had its manifesta- 
tion in countless visitations and ministrations to the sick 
and wounded soldiers in the hospitals within her gates. 
The flags presented to her departing battalions were the 
emblems of her devotion, and the monuments and in- 
scriptions over the numerous graves of her heroes the 
memorials of her unforgotten sacrifices. The exciting 
days of the wearing of the red, white and blue cockade, 
the enthusiasm evoked by the departing regiments foi' 
the seat of war, the peculiar attractions of the Army 
Relief Bazaar erected in the Academy park, the return 
of the veterans after the occupation of Richmond, these 
and kindred incidents will ever make the period of the 
rebellion an interesting local epoch of historical events 
and personal reminiscences. 

About two miles northwest of the capitol and beyond 
the limits of the city is West Albany, where the New 
York Central Railroad Company has its large engine- 
house, shops and cattle-yards. The company first pur- 
chased two hundred and fifty acres of land in 1854 for 
the site of these buildings, and subsequently added an- 
other hundred acres to them. 

Prospect Hill and Bleecker reservoirs and the Tivoli 
lakes, in which are collected a part of the water distributed 
through mains and used by the people of Albany, lie near 
West Albany. These storage and distributing reservoirs 
were built by the water commissioners appointed by the 
act of the ninth of April, 1850, to provide for a supply of 
water in the city of Albany. Subsequently, the supply of 
water being insufficient, the commissioners determined 
to pump water from the Hudson into the Bleecker reser- 
voir. Pumping works were therefore erected in 1875, on 
the northwest corner of Montgomery and Quackenbush 
Streets. In 1878, an engine was placed at Bleecker reser- 


voir to force water from it to the new reservoir, built on 
Prospect hill, to supply water to the people living on the 
highest elevations in the city. 

The lumber-district is that part of the city lying be- 
tween the Erie canal and the Hudson River extending 
about one mile and a quarter northward from Lawrence 
Street and the canal basin. Thirty-two parallel canals 
admit canal-boats laden with lumber to the intermediate 
yards. In the latter are collected large quantities of pine, 
spruce and hemlock lumber from Canada, Northern New 
York, Michigan and other western states. Schooners, 
sloops, and barges, loaded at the extensive wharf on the 
river- front of the district, transport most of it to New 
York and other cities. The sales in 1888 are said to have 
exceeded $10,000,000. The cars of a street railway 
run through the lumber-district to its northern limits. 

Among the most important of the many industries 
of Albany is the manufacture of stoves. About four 
thousand men are employed in the foundries. The 
stoves of the celebrated manufacturers of Albany are 
sold in every state and territory of this country and not 
a few in foreign countries. In 1888 the sales of their 
stoves exceeded $8,000,000. 

The government of the city is administered by a 
mayor elected biennially on the second Tuesday in April. 
By the act passed the twenty-third of April, 1888, nine, 
teen members constitute the board of aldermen, one from 
each ward and two from the city at large, who are also 
elected biennially on the second Tuesday in April. The 
fire department possesses eight steam fire engines. 
Alarms are sounded by the large bell in the tower of the 
city -hall and by a number of church bells and engine- 
house gongs connected with the signal boxes of the fire 
alarm telegraph. 


The history of the public schools of Albany evidently 
begins on the seventeenth of April, 1880, when the legis- 
lature passed the act which provided that the members 
of a board of school-commissioners and also of a board of 
school-inspectors should be annually elected by the peo- 
ple; a commissioner and an inspector in each ward. 
The board of commissioners were empowered to appoint 
three trustees for each school-district, the city having nine 
districts. The first public school-building was erected 
in 1832 in State Street, and was known as district-school 
No. 2. By the new law of the eighth of April, 1844, the 
mayor, the recorder and the resident regents of the 
university were directed to appoint a board of nine 
school-commissioners, three to serve three years, three 
two years, and three one year, and at the end of the 
terms to appoint their successors. The office of inspec- 
tors and trustees was abolished by this law. Although 
the legislature in 1851 passed the law establishing free 
schools throughout the state, the city schools were not 
benefited by it until the following year. In 1855 the 
board of school-commissioners was changed to the board 
of education of the city of Albany. On the seventh of 
April, 1866, the legislature passed the act to create a 
board of public instruction in the city and to establish 
free schools therein. Under this law the public schools 
of the city are now conducted. During the school-year 
of 1883-1884 two hundred and forty-one teachers, 
twenty -two men and iwo hundred and nineteen women, 
were employed to instruct the thirteen thousand six 
hundred and eighteen children attending the schools in 
the twenty-four school-buildings in the city. Of this 
number of scholars, six hundred and nineteen were pu- 
pils in the high-school. Charles W. Cole, the present 
superintendent of the public schools of the city, has held 



the office since 1878. The educational benefits of the 
common school system have been greatly multiplied by 
the efforts of the efficient superintendents of the city- 

One of the most attractive and enjoyable parts of the 
city is Washington Park, about three-fourths of a mile 
west of the capitol. By an enactment of the legislature 
on the fifth of May, 1869, the land known as the burial- 
ground property, the penitentiary grounds and the alms- 
house farm wer^ set apart and devoted to the purposes 
of a public park to be named " the Washington Park of 
the city of Albany." The title of the property was vested 
in a board of trustees, who were authorized to have the 
grounds laid out and improved for the uses of a public 
park. In July, 1870, the work was begun. In 1875 the 
bridge across the lake and the houses on its banks were 
erected. The basin of the lake is sixteen hundred feet 
long with an average width of one hundred and forty 
feet. The park embraces about eighty-one acres of land, 
decorated with large umbrageous trees, pretty parterres 
of beautiful flowers, extensive lawns, numerous walks 
and long drives. Henry L. King, deceased, bequeathed 
twenty thousand dollars to erect a handsome fountain on 
a suitable site in the park. 

The establishment, erection, maintenance and man- 
agement of a cathedral church in the city of Albany in 
accordance with the doctrine, discipline and worship of 
the Protestant Episcopal church in the United States was 
authorized by the act passed the twenty -seventh of 
March, 1873, to incorporate the cathedral of All Saints. 
The building of a cathedral church of an imposing ap- 
pearance and of Gothic architecture was begun in the 
spring of 1884, on the east side of Swan Street between 
Elk and Lafayette streets, the corner-stone of which was 


laid on Tuesday afternoon, the third of June, by the 
Eight Eev. Wilham Croswell Doane, the bishop of the 
diocese of Albany. The plan of the proposed cathedral 
was designed by Eobert W. Gibson, architect, of Albany. 

In the summer of lvS78 the noted hotel, Congress Hall, 
immediately north of the old capitol-building, was de- 
molished. In 1815, Leverett Cruttenden opened it as a 
boarding-house. Its name. Congress Hall, originated 
with William Landon, who, in June, 1881, advertised 
the hotel under this designation, announcing that he had 
" taken the establishment formerly known as the Park 
Place House, and kept for many years by L. Cruttenden. 
'"' ^ *^ It is situated on the Park, a few rods from the 
Capitol and new City Hall, about equidistant between 
them." In 1847 and 1849, Landon & Mitchell were the 
proprietors of the house. They were succeeded by James 
L. Mitchell. In 1866, Adam Blake succeeded the latter ; 
the former having leased the property from the state 
then owning it. Adam Blake conducted it until the 
time of its demolition, when he began the erection of the 
Kenmore hotel, on the southwest corner of North Pearl 
and Columbia streets, which was opened for the reception 
of guests in November, 1878 

The grand proportions of the capitol, massive and 
unique, which first attract the eye of every beholder 
viewing the city, are those of a building, which, when 
completed, will be one of the most imposing, commodious 
and costly structures in the United States. The incep- 
tion of its construction had its origin in ''an act au- 
thorizing the erection of a new capitol," passed by the 
legislature, the first of May, 1865. As enacted, ''when- 
ever, within three years from the passage of this bill, the 
city of Albany, or the citizens thereof, shall deposit with 
the commissioners of the land office of this state a good 


and sufficient deed conveying to the people of the state 
of New York, in fee simple and unencumbered, all that 
certain piece or parcel of land generally known as Con- 
gress Hall block, in the said city of Albany, and bounded 
as follows : northerly by Washington Avenue, easterly 
by Park Place, southerly by Congress Street and west- 
erly by Hawk Street, and furnish the proper evidence 
that the common council of said city of Albany has 
closed and discontinued that part of Park Place south of 
Washington Avenue, and that part of Congress (late 
Spring) Street, east of Hawk Street, which said common 
council are hereby authorized to do, and thereupon the 
streets so closed shall become the property of the state, 
and be included in, and form a part of the capitol grounds; 
the governor shall nominate, and by and with the con- 
sent of the senate, appoint a board of three commission- 
ers, to be known as 'the new capitol commissioners,' 
for the purpose of erecting a new capitol. ^^ '' '^ 

''The said board of commissioners shall immediately 
proceed, in such manner as they may deem best, to pro- 
cure, at the expense of the city of Albany, or the citizens 
thereof, the requisite plans for a new capitol, and the 
necessary accommodations and arrangements connected 
therewith; and upon the approval of such plan or plans 
by the commissioners of the land office, shall as soon as, 
and not before an appropriation shall be made by law, 
proceed with the work in accordance with the plans and 
specifications approved as herein provided. 

'' The new capitol shall be located in the city of Al- 
bany, upon the site of the present capitol and such 
grounds adjacent thereto as shall be secured for that 
purpose and conveyed to the state as provided in the first 
section of this act.'' 

The appropriation of one hundred and ninety thou 


sand dollars by the coiiunon council obtained the desired 
property, a deed of which conveying it to the state was 
given to the commissioners of the land office in 18Hf). 
Thereupon the legislature, on the tw^enty-second of April, 
lSf)7, passed the ''act appropriating moneys for the 
building of a new capitol," by which two hundred and 
fifty thousand dollars were designated for the purpose. 
But as enacted, no part of the amount was to be expended 
until a plan of the building was adopted and approved 
by the commissioners and by the governor, nor was the 
structure ''to cost more than four millions of dollars 
when completed." The first plan of the capitol was paid 
for by the city, the sum of six thousand dollars being 
the cost of it. 

The work of laying the foundation was begun on the 
seventh of July, 18t)0. On the twenty -fourth of June, 
1871, the corner-stone was laid by the chief officers of 
the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, the cere- 
mony being witnessed by a large concourse of people. 
On Tuesday morning, the seventh of January, 1879, the 
two houses of the state legislature met for the first time 
in the new capitol; the members of the assembly in 
their chamber, and the senators in the room that had 
been designed for the court of appeals. On the evening 
of that day, the citizens of Albany gave an opening re- 
ception in the new building, which was attended by 
many thousands of invited guests. On the tenth of 
March, 1881, the senate first occupied its chamber. The 
unfinished building has a frontage of two hundred and 
ninety-two feet and a depth of three hundred and seventy- 
seven. The height of the walls measures one hundred 
and eight feet from the water-table. The granite used in 
the construction of the outer walls is from quarries at 
Hallowell, Maine. The interior of the building is full of 


pleasurable surprises. Its spacious halls, long corridors, 
wide stairways, carved-wood work, stone-sculptures, tes- 
sellated floors, allegorical pictures and other decorations, 
are attractive and artistic. On the fourth floor is the 
bureau of military statistics, where are preserved the 
eight hundred and four battle-worn flags of the various 
regiments of the state that served in the late civil war. 
Twenty-eight captured confederate flags are among the 
attractive collections of the department. The archi- 
tecture of the capitol is multifarious and ornate. More 
than fourteen millions of dollars have been expended in 
the erection, furnishing, and ornamentation of this im- 
posing structure. When compared with the old capitol, 
demolished in the summer of 1888, its size and accom 
modations sensibly impress one with the evidences of the 
advanced culture and the augmented wealth of the people 
of the Empire State, 

The future history of the city of Albany will likely be 
no less remarkable than its past. Conjecture cannot 
portray the realities of the succeeding centuries. Never- 
theless, it is believed, that five hundred years hence the 
evidences of the enterprise, culture, and wealth of the 
present inhabitants of the city will still be perspicuous 
in the activities of those forming its population and con- 
ducing to its greater renown. 



1821. February 16. Act to incorporate the Female Academy passed 
Corner-stone of institution in Montgomery Street laid June 26. 

1825. March 19. Act to incorporate the Gas Light Company of the city 
of Albany passed. 

April 20. Act to incorporate the Hudson River Steamboat Company 

Albany fire department had ten fire engines. Besides the ten fire com- 
panies in 1825, there were two hook and ladder companies and one axe com- 

182Y. May W. Albany Exchange Association formed. 

1829. May 2. Act to incorporate the president, directors and company 
of the Canal Bank of Albany passed. John T. Norton elected president June 
21. Bank failed, July 11, 1848. 

Albany Orphan Asylum established in November. Opened December 1, 
in a frame-building on Washington Street. Incorporated March -^0, 18^31. 
Asylum erected in 1888, on Robin Street, south of Washington Avenue. 

1830. December 1. Museum moved from the old city-hall to new marble 
building, northwest corner of State and Market (Broadway) streets. Dis- 
continued in 1855. 

1882. April 11. Act to incorporate the New York and Albany Railroad 

1838. April 11. Act to incorporate the Albany Gas Light Company 

Albany made a port of entry. Williani Seymour appointed collector of 

October 8. The Burgesses Corps organized. John O. Cole, captain. 
First public parade of corps, July 4, 1834. 

1834. Female Academy, No. 40 North Pearl Street, erected. Opened 
May 12. 

September. People's line of steamboats established. 

1886. April 30. Old city-hall burned. 

1839. December 2. Beginning of anti-rent war. Sheriff of Albany 
County with a, posse coniitatus of six hundred men proceeded to Reedsville to 
enforce the law against the rent-debtors. Met several hundred armed men 
on horseback, four miles beyond Clarksville, and forced to return to Al- 
bany. December 9. The sheriff with a body of military proceeded to the 
anti-rent district. December 10. The governor issued a proclamation for the 
maintenance of the law. December 15. The sheriff returned to the city ^yith 
the following companies from Albany and Troy, under the command of 
Major W. Bloodgood, marching twelve miles through deep snow : Albany 
Burgesses Corps, Capt. Bayeux ; Albany Union Guards, Capt. Brown ; Al- 
bany Republican Artillery, Capt. Strain ; First company Van Rensselaer 



Guards, Capt. Kearney ; Second company Van Rensselaer Guards, Capt. 
Berry ; Troy Artillery, Capt. Howe ; Troy Citizens Corps, Capt. Pierce ; 
and Troy City Guards, Capt. Wickes. 

1840. August 22. Draw of bridge at foot of State Street fell crowded 
with people, and twenty persons drowned. 

1841 March 10. Act to divide the city into ten wards passed. 

March 2^7. Act to incorporate the Albany Gas Light Company passed. 
Subscription-books opened May 25. 

September 9. Board of Trade organized. 

Castleton and West Stockbridge Railroad Company incorporated, May 
5, 1884. Company changed May 5, 1836, to Albany and West Stockbridge 
Railroad Company. Road leased to the Western (Massachusetts) Railroad 
Company, November 18, 1841. Locomotives came to Greenbush, on the road, 
December 10, 1841. Opening of the Western Railroad celebrated, Decem- 
ber 28. The Western and the Boston and Worcester railroad consolidated 
in the Boston and Albany railroad December 1, 1867. 

1842. Steamboat-landing dock leased to Isaac Newton for three years, 
at $1,000 a year. 

1844. February 22. Albany Washington Rifle Company organized. 
Re-organized March 4, 1881. 

First meeting to consider the project of a public cemetery December 81, 
1840. Rural Cemetery Association incorporated, April 20, 1841. Grounds 
consecrated, October 7, 1844. First interment in them, May, 1845. 

State Normal School opened December 18, in the building No. 119 State 
Street, erected by the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad Company. School 
removed to new building, on northwest corner of Howard and Lodge Streets, 
July 30, 1849. 

1845. February 1. Time of ringing the morning bell changed from 
8 o'clock to sunrise. Subsequently changed to 7 o'clock. 

Building of the Albany County penitentiary begun in the summer of 
1845. South wing completed in April, 1846. 

November 10. Streets first lighted by gas. 

The fire-department in 1845 had eleven engine companies, two hook and 
ladder companies, one hose and one axe company, and eleven fire engines. 

1848. May 15. Board of Trade began business in the rotunda of the 
Exchange building. 

November 1. Albany City Hospital, corner of Dove and Lydius streets, 
dedicated. Incorporated April 14, 1849. 

1849. June. Cholera cases reported 41; deaths 22. July, 343 cases and 
125 deaths. August, 345 cases and 150 deaths. September, 37 cases and 23 

1850. April 25. The Albany, Bennington and Rutland Railroad Com- 
pany organized. 

June 25. The O'Reilly telegraph line connected the city with New York. 

1851. February 20. Act to incorporate the Albany and Northern Rail- 
road Company passed. Authorized to construct a railroad from Albany to 
Eagle Bridge, in Washington County, to connect with the Washington and 
Rutland Railroad. 

April 17. Act to incorporate the University of Albany passed. Trustees 


empowered to create a department of medicine, a department of law, and 
such other departments as they might deem expedient. Department of 
medicine constituted in April, 187'^, by making the Albany Medical College 
one of the departments. Department of law organized April 21, 1851. 
First course of law lectures began December 17, 1851, in the Exchange 
building. Law school east side of State Street, west of Swan Street. Dud- 
ley Observatory connected as a department in April, 187'>. Department of 
pharmacy constituted June 21, 1881. First course of pharmacy lectures be- 
gan October •^, 1881, in the Medical College building. Albany College of 
Pharmacy incorporated, August 27, 1881. Lecture rooms and laboratories 
in Albany Medical College. 

October -i. The Hudson River railroad opened to Greenbush. Opening 
oi the road celebrated October 8. 

1852. July 5. Green Street theatre opened. 

185o. April 1. Bank of the Capitol began business. Failed, May 18, 

April 2. Act to authorize the consolidation of certain railroad com- 
panies passed. It was enacted that "the Albany and Schenectady, 
Schenectady and Troy, Utica and Schenectady, Svracuse and Utica, Roch- 
ester and Syracuse, the Buffalo and Lockport, the Mohawk Valley, and the 
Syracuse and Utica direct, Buffalo and Rochester, Rochester, Lockport and 
Niagara Falls railroad companies, or any two or more of them " were 
authorized at anytime "to consolidate such companies into a single cor- 
poration." The directors of the consolidated railroads, thereafter known as 
the New York Central, elected July 7, 1858, Erastus Corning, president, and 
J. V. L. Pruyn, secretary and treasurer. 

June 30. First locomotive passed over the Albany Northern railroad. 
First train from Rutland arrived at Albany, November 5. 

1854. March 2. Act to incorporate the New Jersey Steamboat company 
passed. Isaac Newton elected president of the company. Daniel Drew in 
1859; H. B. Norton, 1868; Daniel Drew, 1871 ; H. B. Norton, 1876; W. 
H. Drew, 1877 ; W. W. Everett, 1878. Present People's Line of night-boats 
plying between Albany and New York : the St. John, the Dean Richmond 
and the Drew. 

April 17. Act to incorporate the Albany Dime Savings Bank passed. In 
1855 the bank was at No. 51 State Street, up-stairs. 

Act to incorporate the Sixpenny Savings Bank passed. In 1856, the bank 
was on the corner of State and James streets. Thomas Schuyler, president. 

July 4. Washington Continentals organized. 

In July and August the reported cases of cholera did not exceed 270 and 
the deaths 104. 

August 8. Albany City Hospital, southeast corner of Eagle and Howard 
streets, opened in the building formerly the jail. 

December 31, Charter of Bank of Albany expired. Resumed business, 
January 1, 1855. Bank failed May 11, 1861, 

1857. July 22. Bank of the Interior began business. Capital $600, ()()(). 
Failed May 21, 1861. 

1858, New York State Arsenal, northwest corner of Eagle and Hudson 
streets, erected. Old arsenal, corner of Broadway and Lawrence Street, 


given to the city for the site of the former. January 1, 1882, name changed 
to State Armory. 

1859. April 4. Commerce Insurance Company organized. June 1, 
began business. 

1860. July. Albany Zouaves organized. 

1861. April 22. Departure of the 25th regiment, Col. M. K. Bryan, for 
the seat of war. Returned, July 28. 

May 18. Departure of the 3d regiment, N. Y. Vols. Col. Frederick Town- 
send. Returned, May 15, 1863. Re-organized regiment returned Septem- 
ber 1, 1865. 

May 23. National Bank failed. 

June. Departure of the 30th regiment, Col. Edward Frisby. Returned 
May 30, 1863. 

September 16. Departure of the 4:3d regiment, Col. F. S. Vinton. 

October 21. Departure of the 44th or Ellsworth regiment. Returned, 
September 21, 1864. 

December 20. Departure of the 91st regiment. Returned, July 19, 1864. 
Returned from one year's service, June 15, 1865. 

1862. April 15. Watervliet Turnpike and Railroad Company chartered. 
August 19, Departure of the 113th regiment, Col. Lewis O. Morris. 

1863. June 15, 16 and lY. Strike of dock and railroad laborers. 

June 22. Street cars began to run from the Lumber District to South Ferry. 

September 24. Albany Street Railway Company organized. February 22, 
1864, cars began to run on Pearl Street. 

December 22. Academy of Music opened in the building known as the 
South Pearl Street theatre, and subsequently St. Paul's church. 

1864. January. Army Relief Bazaar erected in Academy Park. Opened 
February 22. 

February 22. Cars on State Street railway began to run. 

March 31. Steam fire-engine, budt by Joseph Banks, New York, for the 
Beaverwyck Club, reached the city. Engine named James McQuade to 
honor the chief engineer of the Albany fire-department. 

1865. October 12. Letter-boxes placed on lamp-posts for drop-letters. 

1866. February 22. Opening of the first bridge, now known as the 
upper bridge. Twenty-one stone piers. Four spans 172 feet each ; 14 of 
72 feet, and a draw of 257 feet ; length of bridge between the trestle-work on 
each side of the river 1953 feet. Cost about $750,000. The project of build- 
ing a bridge across the river at Albany first discussed in January 1814, but 
it was opposed by the citizens of Troy, Lansingburgh and Waterford. In 
1831, 1835, 1836, 1841, 1854, and in 1856 similar projects were discussed, 
but were abortive. Act authorizing the construction of a bridge across the 
Hudson River at Albany by the Hudson River Bridge Company, passed 
April 9, 1856. On the opening of ihe new bridge, all the passenger trains, 
the Hudson River, the Harlem and the Boston trains, departed from the 
New York Central depot at the foot of Steuben Street. 

April 28. Act to incorporate the Hope Savings Bank passed. Failed, 
May 10, 1877. 

September 17. Street cars began to run from North Pearl to Van Woert 


18(j7. March 21. Roman Catholics purchased cemetery grounds south of 
the Rural Cemetery. St Agnes Cemetery Association incorporated May 9. 
Cemetery consecrated May 19. 

Old Guard, Burgesses Corps, organized. 

18(58. January 29. Academy of Music or old South Pearl Street theatre 

August I'i. Albany Jackson Corps organized. 
September 7. Free Academy established, and opened at No. 119 State Street. 

October. City building, on southwest corner of South Pearl and Howard 
streets, erected in 1868 and 1869, completed. Cost $20(),()00. 

November 19. Dana Natural History Society organized. 

December ;^0. Last rail on the Albany aud Susquehanna railroad laid, 
running from Albany to Binghamton, and connecting it with the Erie rail- 
road. Ground first broken for its construction, September 5, 1853. Road 
opened January 12, 1869. Depot on the west side of Broadway, opposite 
the steamboat landing. Company formed April 19, 1851. Edward C. 
Delavan first president. Leased to the Delaware and Hudson Canal Com- 
pany, February 24, 1870. In 1875, depot on the northwest corner of Quay 
Street and Maiden Lane first used. New building erected in 1880. 

1870. April 8. Parts of the towns of WatervlJet and Bethlehem added 
to the city. 

St. Agnes School founded by the Right Rev. William C. Doane for the 
education of girls. Act to incorporate the trustees of the Corning Founda- 
tion for educational and Christian work in the diocese of Albany, passed 
March 14, 1871. Corner-stone of school-building, north side of Elk Street, 
between Hawk and Swan streets, laid June 19, 1871. Building formally 
opened on Hallowe'en, 1872. 

1871. December 28. First train crossed the iron railroad bridge at the 
foot of Maiden Lane. Length 1940 feet. Length of approaches 725 feet 
Twenty-two spans. Act authorizing the Hudson River Bridge Company, to 
construct the bridge passed May 10, 1869. Construction began in May, 1870. 

1872. October 6. Union depot, foot of Steuben Street, opened. 

1876, Erection of the High School building, on the east side of Eagle 
Street, between Steuben and Columbia streets, begun. Frontage 85 feet, 
depth on Steuben Street 135 feet, on Columbia 120. Opened May 4, 1876. 
Cost $140,000. 

July 4. Stone tablet placed by the members of the Albany Institute and 
the citizens' committee on the front of the Commercial building, on the 
northeast corner of Broadway and Hudson Avenue, unveiled by Visscher 
Ten Eyck, in the presence of a large concourse of people. Addresses by 
John V. L. Pruyn, president of the Albany Institute, Henry A. Homes, 
LL. D., of the Institute committee, and by Judge J. O. Cole. Inscription 
on the tablet : " The Declaration of Independence was first publicly read in 
Albany by order of the Committee of Safety, July 19, 17^76, in front of the 
City Hall, then on this site. This memorial of the event was placed here by 
the citizens, July 4, 1876." 

1877. June 15. Old Elm tree, on the northwest corner of State and Pearl 
streets, cut down to widen Pearl Street. "The rings of its growth show its 
age to have been 123 years." 


July -->• Beginning of the railroad riots at West Albany. Ended July 28. 

September. Young Men's Association rooms opened in the Bleecker 
building, on the southwest corner of North Pearl and Steuben streets. As- 
sociation organized December 10, 1833. Amos Dean elected president, De- 
cember 13. Robert Gray, first librarian. Incorporated March 12, 1835. 
Occupied rooms in Knickerbacker Hall, on the east side of Market Street 
Nos. 332 and 334, (now Nos. 451 and 453 Broadway) from 1833 to 1840. In 
1840 moved to rooms in the Albany Exchange building. Occupied rooms 
in the Commercial Bank building from 1851 to 1870 ; in Music-hall build- 
ing from 1870 to 1877. Number of volumes in its library about 16,000. 

1880. January 15. Death of Joel Munsell, the distinguished antiquarian, 
compiler, and printer. 

January 31. Fort Orange Club organized. The handsome club-house, 
No. 110, on the south side of Washington Avenue, between Swan and Dove 
streets, was erected in 1810, by Samuel Hill. February 28, 1880, Ephraim 
H. Bender, (the publisher of the History of the City of Albany) sold the 
building, then his residence, to Erastus Corning, Robert H. Pruyn, J. How- 
ard King and Dudley Olcott, who, on the eighth of May following, conveyed 
it to the Fort Orange Club. Club-House opened July 1. 

March 1. The People's Gas Light Company organized. 

1881. February 11. Adelphi Club incorporated. Organized under the 
name of the Adelphi Literary Association, January 26, 1873. First rooms 
in building on South Pearl Street. In 1876 moved to Adelphi Hall, No. 
83 Green Street. Building No. 101 Hudson Avenue used as a club-house 
in 1880. The present building, corner of South Pearl and Division streets, 
erected in 1881. 

April. Albany Electric Illuminating Company organized. 

June. Young Men's Christian Association reorganized. First organized 
February 24, 1857. Incorporated April 24, 1867. Rooms in Perry building. 
No. 20 North Pearl Street. 

1882. January 24. Lower iron bridge at foot of Ferry Street opened. 
Work of construction begun in 1876. Length 1669 feet. Length of draw 
100 feet. Built by the Albany and Greenbush Bridge Company. 

1883. January Kk Tweddle Hall burned. 

July 1'. The New York, West Shore and Buffalo railroad from Wee- 
hawken to Albany opened. January 1, 1884, opened to Buffalo. Incor- 
porated June 14, 18S1. 

Broadway viaduct, at the New York Central railroad crossing, com- 
pleted. Work begun in 1882. 

December. Government building, on the northeast corner of Broadway 
and State street, first occupied. Construction authorized by act of Con- 
gress March 12, 1872 ; the site to be given to the government by the city. 
The Exchange building and the Mechanics' and Farmers' Bank building and 
their sites purchased by the city and conveyed to the United States govern- 
ment. Demolition of buildings on its site began in December, 1875. Corner- 
stone laid May 7, 1871). Frontage of building on Broadway 113 feet, depth 
150 feet. Cost of the granite structure about $530,000. First occupied by 
the post-ofhce, January 1, 1884. 



jN. B. A few names of pastors and the dates of the terms of service of a number of 
I hem are not ^iven. The data in the lists have been taken from newspapers, directories, 
and documents] . 

FiRS'i^ Particular. i^See page 455). Church, southeast corner of Hud- 
son and Philip streets, opened for service, December 26, 1852. 

Pastors: Francis Wayland, 1811-12; Isaac Webb, 1815-lt) ; Joshua 
Bradley, 1817-19; Levels Leonard, 1825-26; Bartholomew T. Welch, 1828-:^^; 
George B. Ide, 1834-35 ; Alanson L. Covell, 1837 ; James Hodge, 1839-11 ; 
John Knox, 1842 ; James M. Coley, 1843-45 ; Asa Bronson, 1845 ; W. S. 
Clapp, 1846-49; Reuben Jeffrey, 1849-57; E. L. Magoon, 1858-67; George 
C. Lorimer, 1868-69; J. B. Hawthorne, 1871; D. M. Reeves, 1872-79; 
Thomas Rambaut, 1883 to present time. 

Emmanuel Baptist Church. First meeting-house, near southwest 
corner of Pearl Street and Maiden Lane (site of Perry building;, erected in 
1833. First members from the First Particular Society. Incorporated Sep- 
tember 7, 1833. Church first opened for worship, October 26, 1834. In 
1871 the society began to worship in Emmanuel Baptist church on north 
side of State Street, between Swan and Dove streets. Corner-stone laid 
July 14, 1869. Dedicated, February 23, 1871. Built of Onondaga limestone. 
Cost $217,000. Sittings 150O. 

Pastors : Bartholomew T. Welch, 1834-48 : Luther F. Beecher, 1850-53 ; 
William Hague, 1854-57; T. R. Howlett, I860 ; C. DeW. Bridgman, 1862-78; 
T. Harwood Pattison, 1879-81 ; Henry M. King, 1882 to present time. 

South Baptist Society. Meeting-house in 1842 the Scotch Presby- 
terian church on Westerlo Street. Incorporated, August 29, 1842. Church 
South Pearl Street, opposite Herkimer Street, dedicated December 25, 1843. 
Trinity Episcopal church, corner of Herkimer and Franklin streets, purchased 
by the society in 1848. Opened for service, April 8, 1849. Church on South 
Pearl Street sold to the Jews. Last services in it, September 28, 1851. 

Pastors: Stephen Wilkins, 1843-48; Barry, 1849; A. Kingsbury, 1850; 
W. G. Howard, 1850-51; W. W. Moore, 1852; Lewis Sill, 1853-54; Isaac 
N. Hill, 1854 ; Malcom Roberts, 1858-59. 

State Street Baptist Church. Meeting-house, southeast corner of 
State and High streets, erected in 1845. Organized, January 15, 1846. Church 
dedicated, January 15, 1846. Sold to Calvary Baptist church in 1865. 

Pastors : Jacob Knapp, 1846-47 ; Edwin R. Warner, 1847-48 ; Jabez 
S. Swan, 1848-49; W. W. Moore, 1849-51; Charles B. Post, 1852-54; 
William Arthur, 1858-64 ; T. W. Smith, 1865. 

Washingtc^n Avenue Baptist Church. Building, No. 252 Washington 
Avenue, purchased in 1859. Society organized, February 16, 18()(). Chapel 
sold to Roman Catholics, January 3, 1866. 

Pastor : William P. Everett, 1860-64. 

Calvary Baptist Church. Organization originally the Washington 



Avenue Baptist Church Society. Incorporated, April 3, 1863. Name, The 
Calvary Baptist Church, taken February 4, 1865. In 1865, society purchased 
the State Street Baptist church, southeast corner of State and High streets. 
In 1880, edifice demolished. Present building dedicated, March 26, 1882. 

Pastors: J. Spencer Kennard, 1865-66; John Peddie, 1866-70; John 
Love, 1 8^72 -75 ; Joshua Day, 1876-77; John Humpstone, 1878-82; J. 
Wolfender, 1888 to present time. 

Tabernacle Baptist Church. Chapel North Pearl Street, between 
Wilson and Lumber (Livingston Avenue) streets, dedicated June 14, 1857. 
Society organized, October 1859. Incorporated under name of the Taber- 
nacle Baptist Church, November 10, 1859. Present edifice, northwest cor- 
ner of Clinton Avenue and Ten Broeck Street, dedicated February 14, 1877. 

Pastors : J. D. Fulton, 1859-64 ; William A. Alden, 1865-67 ; Thomas 
Cull, 1869-70; R. B. Kelsay, 1871-72 ; F. R.Morse, 1878-78; Albert 
Foster, 1879 to present time. 

Washington Strkkf German Baptist Church. Building on Wash- 
ington Avenue, near Lark Street, dedicated, October 29. 1854. 

Pastors : A. Von Puttkammer, 1857-61 ; H. Feltman, 1864-69 ; William 
Argow, 1870-75; Henry Trumpp, 1877-80; John Jaeger, 1882 to present 

First African Baptlst Church. Organized September 6, 1820, under 
the name of the Albany African Church Association. Meeting-house, north 
side of Hamilton Street, between Grand and Fulton streets, dedicated, Janu- 
ary 16, 1828. The name. The First African Baptist Society, taken, January 
16, 1826. Property sold to the Roman Catholics in 1869. 

Pastors : Nathaniel Paul, 1822-80 ; Calvin C. Williams, 1831 ; Samuel 
Treadwell, 1832-83; Thomas Ritchie, 1834; Nathaniel Paul, 1838-39; 
Jonas H. Townsend, 1843 ; John Kial, 1844 ; W. Surrington, 1846 ; Wil- 
liam Garnett, 1849 ; J. Atkin, 1852 ; — Hansen, 1855 ; L. Black, 1859 ; T. 
Doughty Miller, 1860-64; John D. Bagwell, 1869. 

Second African Baptist Church. Organized 1870. Meeting-house 
Chestnut Street, near Dove. 

Pastors: Theodore D. Miller, 1872 ; Charles Charles, 1878 ; Henry H. 
Mitchell, 1879. 

Memorial Baptist Chapel. Building southeast corner of Madison 
Avenue and Partridge Street. Rev. A. W. Stockwin, missionary, 1888 to 
present time. 


First (Christian Church. Meeting-house south side of Chestnut 
Street, between Lark and Dove streets. Society organized in 1881. 

Pastors: E. C. Abbott, 1881-S4 ; Warren Hathaway, 1884 to present 


First Congregational Church. First Presbyterian meeting-house, 
on corner of South Pearl and Beaver streets, purchased, December 15, 1849, 
Opened for services, April 7, 1850. Society incorporated, June 6, 1850. 


Church sold, September 10, 1867. Last services in it, February 9, 1868. 
Meetings thereafter held in Association Hall. Corner-stone of building, 
southeast corner of Eagle and Beaver streets, laid, September 22, 1868. 
Dedicated, October 14, 1869. 

Pastors: Ray Palmer, 1850-66; William S. Smart, 1867 to present 

Second Congregational Church. Society organized in 1862. Meet- 
ings held in Gibson's Hall, No. 1 Clinton Avenue, corner of Broadway. 
Pastor: R. B. Stratton, 1862-6^. 


Cathedral of All Saints. Incorporated March 27, 187^1 Corner- 
stone of All Saints cathedral laid June 3, 1884. (See page 482.) Present 
chapel of the cathedral on northwest corner of Hawk and Elk streets. 

Right Rev. William Croswell Doane, bishop ; consecrated bishop of the 
diocese of Albany, February 2, 1869, in St Peter's church. Rev. F. L. Nor- 
ton, dean. Rev. G. W. Dean, chancellor. Rev. E. T. Chapman, treasurer. 
Rev. T. B. Fulcher, minor canon. 

St. Peter's Church. (See pages 278-282, 284-287, 296, 332, 349, 407, 
408, 430, 431, 448). Church erected in 1803 demolished in 1859. Corner- 
stone of new edifice laid June 29, 1859. Consecrated, October 4, 1860. Tower 
dedicated, September 29, 1876. 

Rectors : Thomas Barclay, 1708-171-; — Miln, 1728-37; Henry Barclay, 
1738-46; John Ogilvie, 1749-64; Thomas Brown, 1764-68; Harry Munro, 
1768-74; Thomas Ellison, 1787-1802; Frederick Beasley, 1803-09; Timothy 
Clowes, 1810-17 ; William B. Lacey, 1818-32; Horatio Potter, 1833-55; 
Thomas Clapp Pitkin, 1855-62; William F. Wilson and William Tatlock. 
1862-66; William Croswell Doane, 1867-69; William A. Snively, 1869-74; 
Walton W. Battershall, 1874 to present time. 

St. Paul's Church. Meetings of the first members of the church held 
in 1827 in a building, corner of Pearl and Rensselaer streets. First wardens 
and vestrymen elected November 12, 1827. Incorporated, November 28, 
1827. Corner-stone of church, erected on northwest corner of Ferry and 
Dallius streets, laid June 11, 1828. Consecrated, August 4, 1829. Sold to 
Roman Catholics in 1839. Theatre-building on South Pearl Street, between 
Beaver and Hudson streets, purchased shortly thereafter, refitted, and con- 
secrated February 22, 1840. Dudley Reformed Protestant church, south 
side of Lancaster Street, between Swan and Hav»rk streets, purchased in 
1862, and used for the first time, September 21, 1862. 

Rectors: Richard Bury, 1827-30; William Linn Keese, 1830-33; Joseph 
Henry Price, 1834-37; William I. Kip, 1837-53; Thomas A. Starkey, 1854- 
58; William Rudder, 1859-63; J. Livingston Reese, 1864 to present time. 

Trinity Church. Organized in 1839. Leased that year to the Pres- 
byterian (Cameronian) church, south side of Westerlo Street, between 
Dallius and Church streets. Incorporated, May 12, 1840. In 1841, held 
services in the school-house, corner of Dallius and Ferry streets. In 1842, 
erected a frame-building on the southeast corner of Herkimer and Franklin 


Streets. Last services held in it by the society, December 25, 1848. Corner 
stone of church, west side of Broad Street, between Lydius (Madison 
Avenue) and Westerlo streets, laid May 18, 1848. Consecrated September 
10, 1849. 

Rectors: Isaac Swart, 1889-40; William Dowdney, 1840-41; Edward 
Embury, 1842-48; Edward Selkirk, 1844-84. 

Grace Church. First called the Episcopal Free Church. Grace church 
incorporated, May 25, 1846. First services in a building corner of State and 
Lark streets. Subsequently the congregation worshipped in a building on 
Spring Street. Corner-stone of church, corner of Lark and Washington 
Streets, laid July 8, 1850. Dedicated. December 14, 1852. Building re- 
moved in 187o to northwest corner of Robin Street and Clinton Avenue. 

Rectors : Mansell Van Rensselaer, 1846-47 ; John Alden Spooner, 1848 ; 
John Radcliff Davenport, 1850-57 ; Theodore M. Bishop, 1858-61 ; Philander 
K. Cady, 1868-65 ; Edwin B. Russell, 1866-71 ; James Hutchings Brown, 
1872 ; David Louis Schwartz, 1875 to present time. 

Church of the Holy Innocents. Corner-stone of edifice, southeast 
corner of North Pearl and Colonic streets, laid June 7, 1849. Incorporated, 
February 16, 1850. Consecrated, September 8, 1850. 

Rectors: Sylvanus Reed, 1850-61 ; William R. Johnson, 1862-68; Wil- 
liam S. Boardman, 1866-68 ; Royal Marshall, 1870-74 ; Samuel E. Smith, 
1875-82 ; Ralph Wood Kenyon, 1888 to present time. 

St. Paul's Free Chapel. Building south side of Madison Avenue, 
between Green and Dailius streets. 

A. F. Steele, assistant rector, 1868; Walker Gwynne, 1872 ; Thomas B. 
Berry, 1878 ; W. H. Gallagher, 1875-76 ; Frederick O. Granniss, 1877-80 ; 
Frederick J. Bassett, 1881-82 ; Rev. J. B. Hubbs, 1888 to present time. 


Church of the Evangelical (German) Association. Incorporated, 
January 1847. First meeting-house on Grand Street, between Hudson and 
Beaver streets. Afterward corner of Clinton and Nucella streets. Church 
erected in 1869, on south side of Elm Street, between Grand and Philip streets. 
Pastors: Jacob Wagner, 1851 ; Levi Jacobi, 1852-59 ; Augustus Spies, 
1862; William Mintz, 1868-64; Henry Fischer, 1866-68; Charles Schoepfle, 
1870-71; Albert Unholtz, 1872-74; J. Siegrist, 1875-77; M. Yauch, 1878-80; 
A. Schlenk, 1881-88; Jacob Eberling, 1888 to present time. 

German Evangelical Protestant Society. Organized in 1850. In- 
corporated, April 29, 1851. Church, corner of Clinton and Alexander streets. 

Pastors : Augustus J. Grotrian, 1852-58; Charles A. Biel, 1862; Alfred 
Kretschmar, 1862-64; A. J. Grotrian, 1866-68; M. Frankel, 1859; Oscar 
Kraft, 1871; W. Stroebel, 1874; J. Petersen, 1875-76; — Junegst, 1877-80; 
Paul L. Menzel, 1881 to present time. 


Society of Friends. Meetings in 1829 held in a building corner of State 
and Lodge streets. Meeting-house erected in 1888 on south side of Plain 
Street, between Grand and Fulton streets. 



Beth El. Society organized in 1822. Incorporated, March 25, 1888. 
First synagogue in Bassett Street. The second, No. 16 Herkimer Street, 
dedicated, September 2, 1842. South Ferry Street Methodist Episcopal 
church, southwest corner of South Ferry and Franklin streets, purchased, and 
dedicated, January 20, 1865, 

Rabbis: Isaac Wise, 1847-50; Veis Traub, 1851-53; Samson Falk, 
1854; Isaac Gothold, 1863-65; H. Berkenthall, 1867-72; L. A. Son, 1873- 
79; Adolph Friedmann. 1880 to present time. 

Beth El Jacob. Incorporated, Feburary 22, 1841. Synagogue, No. 8 
Rose Street, dedicated. May 25, 1841. Corner-stone of synagogue, east side 
of Fulton Street, between Lydius (Madison Avenue) and Van Zandt streets, 
laid December 1, 1847. Consecrated, April 28, 1848. 

Rabbis : Julius Katzenberg, 1851-52 ; Joseph Lewin, 1883 ; I. N. Cohn, 
1855-57 ; Wolf Fashbinder, 1858-59 ; — Hydeman, 1861 ; H. C. Solo- 
mon, 1863 ; Isaac Reiterman, 1864-65 ; S. Thanhauser, 1868-71 ; Josiah 
Goetz, 1872-82 ; Samuel Distillator, 1883 to present time. 

Anshe Emeth. Congregation first worshipped in a building, corner of 
Lydius (Madison Avenue) and South Pearl streets. Society incorporated, 
October 11, 1850. Afterward in a building in Green Street. Baptist church, 
on South Pearl Street, opposite Herkimer, purchased. Synagogue dedicated, 
October 3, 1851. 

Rabbis. Isaac M. Wise, 1851-54;- Elkan Cohn, 1854-59; M. Mayer, 
1862 ; N. Nathanson, 1863 ; M, Schlessinger, 1864 to present time. 


First Evangelical Lutheran. (See pages 107, 108, 150, 151, 152, 
156, 157, 170, 171, 175, 176, 204, 284, 395, 396, 397, 448. 453, 457). August 
26, 1784, incorporated under the title of " Der Evangelisch Lutherischen 
Gemeinde." Corner-stone of church laid, June 2, 1783. Present church, 
north-west corner of Pine and Lodge streets, dedicated January 26, 1871. 

Pastors : Jacobus Fabricius, 1669 ; Bernardus Arensius, 1671-73 ; 
William Christian Berkenmeyer, 1746 ; Heinrich Moeller, 1784-90 ; — 
Groetz, 1791 ; Anthon Theodore Braun, 1794-1800 ; Heinrich Moeller, 
1801-06 ; Frederick George Mayer, 1807-42 ; Henry Newman Pohlman, 
1843-67 ; Samuel Sprecher, 1868-72 ; Irving Magee, 1872-82 ; George W, 
Miller, 1884 to present time. 

First German Evangelical Lutheran Church. Organized in 1854. 
Church in 1856 on the northeast corner of Franklin and Nucella (Fourth 
Avenue) streets. 

Pastors : C. A. Rechenberg, 1854-57 ; H. G. Hennicke, 1858-60 ; E. 
Fischer, 1861-68 ; W. Arnst, 1869 ; Peter Seuel, 1870-75 ; William A. Frey, 
1876 to present time. 

German Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Church. Organized in 
1857. Incorporated, October 25, 1858. Corner-stone of church on Bowery, 
(Central Avenue), laid, January 24, 1859. 

Pastor : Earnest Hoffman, 1859 to present i:ime. 



German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church Society organized, 
May W, 1860. Incorporated July 2, 1800. Church southeast corner of 
Broad and Alexander streets. 

Pastors : J. C. J. Petersen, 187Y-80; Conrad Kuehn, 1881-83; Herman 
Hartwig, 1884 to present time. 

St. Paul's German Evangelical Lutheran Church. Organized from 
German members of the First Lutheran Church, August 8, 1841, and the 
society incorporated as the German Evangelical Church, August 10, 1841. 
Purchased Albany West Station Methodist church. No. 249 State 
Street, in .842. Dedicated, May 10, 1842. Incorporated as the Second 
German Evangelical Lutheran Church, September 5, 1855. Present church 
south side of Western Avenue, near Lexington, dedicated January 13, 1856. 

Pastors : George Saul, 1841-42 ; Edward Meyer, 1832-4'7 ; Frederick 
William Schmidt, 184Y-55; Charles M. Wossidlo, 1856; Henry Ebsen, 1859- 
61; Reinholdt Adleberg, 1862-68; Peter Eirich, 1870-80; G. F. Stutz, 1881 
to present time. 


First Methodist (Hudson Avenue) Church. (Seepages402, 409, 443, 
449). Society incorporated, April 3, 1811. Church on Division Street 
abandoned in 1844. Edifice erected in 1844 on the south side of Hudson 
Street, between Philip and Grand streets. First Presbyterian church, on the 
southwest corner of Hudson Avenue and Philip Street, purchased in 1883. 

Pastors: James Campbell, 1790; Joel Ketchum, 1798; Cyrus Stebbins, 
John Crawford, Gideon A. Knowlton, 1799-1804; Elias Vanderlip, 1806; 
William Phoebus, 1816; Truman Bishop, 1817; Joseph Crawford, 1818-19; 
Samuel Marvin, 1820: Phineas Rice, 1821-22; Tobias Spicer, 1823-24; Josiah 
Bowen, 1825-26 ; James Young, 1827-28 ; J. C. Green, 1829-30 ; Samuel 
Luckey, 1831-32; John B Stratton, 1832-33; Charles Sherman, 1834-35; A. 
M. Osborn, 1836-37; Truman Seymour, 1838-40; Noah Levings, 1841-42; 
Henry L. Starks, 1842-43; Z. Phillips, 1844; Allen Steele, 1845-46; Andrew 
Witherspoon, 1847; John Clark, 1848-49; Henry L Starks, 1850-51; Stephen 
Parks, 1852-53; Robert Fox, 1854-55; Stephen D. Brown, 1855-56; L. D. 
Stebbins, 1857-58; B. O. Meeker, 1859-60; Mark Trafton, 1861-62; C F- 
Burdick, 1863; Ira G. Bidwell, 1864-66; Jesse T. Peck, 1867-69; Merritt 
Hulburd, 1870-72; D, W. Dayton, 1873-75; Philip Krohn, 1876-77; W. H. 
Meeker, 1878 ; E. McChesney, 1879-81 ; John H. Coleman, 1882 to present 

Wesley Chapel Methodist Church. Organized May, 1834. In- 
corporated, October 21, 1834. First meeting-house corner Dallius and Bass 
(Bleecker) streets. Lot on Herkimer Street, between Franklin and South 
Pearl streets, purchased in 1835. Dedicated, September, 1837. Burned, 
April 20, 1839. Society afterward held meetings in the Universalist church 
on Herkimer street. Disbanded, May 22, 1842. 

Pastors: Hiram Meeker, 1834-35 ; F. W. Smith, 1838-39. 

Ash-Grove Methodist Church. Organized as the Ferry Street Metho- 
dist church, in the school-house on John Street, July 4, 1842. Church 
erected on corner of Ferry and Franklin streets dedicated, December 4, 1842. 


Building sold in 1864 to the Jewish society of the Beth El synagogue. Site 
of the Ash Grove church, southwest corner of Westerlo and Broad streets, 
purchased, January 11, 1864. Edifice dedicated, July 6, 1865. Incorporated, 
October lY, 1865. 

Pastors: S. Remington, 1843; Alfred Saxe, 1844-45; Timothy Benedict, 
1846-47; Lyman A. Sanford, 1848-49; John Eraser, 1860-51; A. A. Farr, 
1862-53; Hiram Dunn, 1854-55; E. H. Foster, 1856-5Y; A. A. Farr, 1858; 
W. R. Brown, 1860-61; Stephen D. Brown, 1862-63; A. A Farr, 1864-65; 
W. P Abbott, 1866-68; S. McChesney, 1869-71; S. McKean, 1872-73; H. 
Graham, 1874-76; J. E. C. Sawyer, 1877-79; J. W. Alderman, 1880-82; 
Joel W. Eaton, 1883 to present time. 

Garrettson Station of the Methodist Church. Organized in 
August, 1828. Incorporated, September 28, 1829. Also incorporated Sep- 
tember 28,1829, as the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church. Preaching- 
house Mechanics' Hall, corner of Chapel and Columbia streets. In Decem- 
ber, 1829, the society purchased the Circus-building on North Pearl 
Street. Edifice dedicated in June, 1830. Demolished in 1851, and a new 
church erected on its site. Dedicated, January 11, 1852. Society incor- 
porated with that of St. Luke's Methodist church organized in 1881. 

Pastors: John J. Matthias, 1828-29; Thomas Burch, 1831-33; Noah 
Levings, 1834; Salmon Stebbins, 1835; Ephraim Goss. 1838; Joseph Castle, 
1840; S. L. Stillman, 1843; M. L. Scudder, 1844-45; John Lindsay, 1846; 
E. Stover, 1847; James Caughey, 1848-49; D. M. Hall, 1849-50; J. T. Ar- 
nold. 1851-52; Sanford Washburn, 1853; S. P. Williams, 1854-55; John P. 
Newman, 1856-67; C. W. Gushing, 1858-59; N. G. Spaulding, 1860-61; J. 
E. Bowen, 1862-63; G. S. Chadbourne, 1864-66; Dexter E. Clapp, 1867-68; 
W. G. Waters, 1869-70; W. J. Heath, 1871-73; S. McLaughlin, 1874-76; J. 
W. Thompson, 1877-78; G. A. Barrett, 1879-81. 

Trinity Methodist Church. Primitive Methodist meetmg-house, 
No. 249 State Street, near Dove Street, dedicated, December 4, 1831. So- 
ciety organized, March 28, 1836, as the Albany West Station of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church. Corner-stone of edifice erected on corner of Wash- 
ington and Swan streets laid, November 9, 1841. Dedicated, May 22, 1842. 
Last services held in building, April 29. 1868. Transept of Trinity church, 
on north-west corner of Lark and Lancaster streets, dedicated, June 19, 
1868. Corner-stone of church laid, October 10, 1875. Dedicated, December 
28, 1876. 

Pastors: Nathan Watkins, 1831-33; Coles R. Wilkins, 1838; J. Leon- 
ard, 1840-41 ; S. L. Stillman, 1842-44 ; T. Spicer, 1845 ; P. M. Hitchcock, 
1846-47 ; Thomas Armitage, 1848 ; S. D. Brown, 1849 ; John Frazer, 1850 ; 
J. E. Bowen, 1851-52 ; Manly Witherell, 1854-55 ; John Parker, 1856-57 ; 
A. J. Jutkins, 1858 ; M. Bates, 1860 ; S. M. Merrill, 1861-62 ; A. J. Jutkins, 
1863 ; Bostwick Hawley, 1864-65 ; Richard Meredith, 1866 ; S. L. Stillman, 
1867 ; E. Meredith, 1869 ; Charles Reynolds, 1870-72 ; W. H. Rowsom, 
1873-74 ; Thomas Kelly, 1875-77 ; J. F. Clymer, 1878-79 ; S. M. WUliams, 
1880-81 ; D. W. Gates, 1882-84 ; F. Widmer, 18S4 to present time. 

St. Luke's Methodist Church. Society formed in 1881, by the union 
of the Garrettson and Central Avenue societies. Church on northwest 


corner of Clinton and Lexington avenues. Corner-stone laid, September 
18, 1883. Dedicated, June 29, 1884. 

Pastors: G. A. Barrett, 1881 ; T. C. Potter, 1882 to present time. 

Central Avenue Methodist Church. Organized at No. 205 Central 
Avenue in 1871. 

Pastors : P. P. Harrower, 1811-72 ; Charles Reynolds, 1873 ; D. R. 
Lowell, 1874-75 ; J. S. Bridgford, 1876 ; J. C. Russum, 1877-78 ; Rufus 
Wendell, 1879 ; Hiram Blanchard, 1880 ; T. C. Potter, 1882. 

Arbor Hill Station Methodist Church. Meeting-house on Arbor 
Hill, Swan Street, between Third and Lumber streets. Incorporated, June 
29, 1846. United with the Broadway society to form the Grace Church 
society, May 3, 1869. 

Pastors : J. W. Belknap, 1849-50 ; Edward Noble, 1851 ; J. Leonard, 
1852; Myron White, 1853; H. S. Smith, 1854-55; A. A. Farr, 1856; E. 
Watson, 1857-58 ; E. Stover, 1859 ; R. B. Stratton, 1860-61 ; R. H. Robin- 
son, 1862-63 ; L. Marshall, 1864 ; A. Canoll, 1865-66 ; L C. Fenton, 1867-68; 
J. W. Alderman, 1869. 

Broadway Methodist Church. First called the Broadway Mission, 
No. 867 Broadway. Incorporated, December 19, 1859. United with the 
Arbor Hill society to form the Grace Church society, May 3, 1869. 

Pastors: A. A. Farr. 1860-61; S. McChesney, 1862-63; H. L. Starks, 
1864-66 ; G. C. Wells, 1867-69. 

. Wesleyan Chapel. Meeting-house, North Pearl, above Clinton Avenue. 
Pastors : M. Bates, 1846-47 ; John Lowrey, 1848-50 ; P M. Way, 1850-51; 
Samuel Salisbury, 1852-54 ; David Mason, 1859 ; Thomas Easton, 1860-61 ; 
Horace B. Knight, 1862 ; John P. Bethkar, 1863-64. 

Grace Methodist Church, Society formed by the union of the Arbor 
Hill and the Broadway societies. May 3, 1869. Church, northwest corner 
of Ten Broeck and Lumber (Livingston Avenue) streets. First meeting- 
house dedicated, December 19, 1869. Demolished in April, 1880. Corner- 
stone of the new edifice laid September 21, 1880. 

Pastors : J. W. Alderman, 1869-71 ; Homer Eaton, 1872-74 ; B. B. 
Loomis, 1875-77 ; H. C. Sexton, 1878 ; H. D. Kimball, 1879-81 ; S. V. 
Leech, 1882 to present time. 

Free Central Methodist Church. Meeting-house in 1857, on Philip 
Street, and on Green Street, below Hamilton. In 1 858 church on the corner 
of Grand and Lydius (Madison Avenue) streets. 

Pastors : E. Goss, 1857-58; Charles H. Richmond, 1859 ; M. Witherell, 
1860 ; E. Goss, 1861-62 ; S. L. Stillman, 1863 ; B. Pomeroy, 1864. 

Benjamin Street Methodist Church. Mission School in 1871. Ben- 
jamin Street, near Whitehall road. 

Pastors : W. O. Tower, 1883 ; G. A. Kerr, 1884 to present time. 

German Methodist Church. In 1853 meeting-house in Rensselaer 
Street. Afterward in Schuyler Street, between South Pearl and Franklin 


Pastors: M. Lawer, 1848-50; J. Hertell. 1851; J. J. Grau, 1852; Jacob 
Gaber, 1853; — Schwartz, 1855; F. Dingar, 1856-58. 

African Methodist Episcopal Israel Church. Incorporated April 
25, 1829. First church in the rear of school-house No. 2 on State Street. 
Purchased lot north side of Hamilton Street, bweteen Hallenbake and 
Philip streets, January 6, 1842. Church burned, February 28, 1845 In 
1851 meetings held in a building on Jefferson Street, above Eagle. Pur- 
chased site of present church, No. 365 Hamiliion Street, between Dov^e and 
Lark streets, September 16, 1854. 

Pastors: Richard M. Williams, 1831-35; Eli N. Hall, 1842-43; Jules 
Campbell, 1844; — Buler, 1846; Richard Robinson, 1851; James M, Wil- 
liams, 1852; — Ayres, 1856; C. Burch, 1857; George Wier, 1858-59; Abram 
Crippen, 1860; L. Patterson, 1861-62; James M. Williams, 1863; — Lynch, 
1864; W. W Grimes, 1866; Francis Peck, 1867-68; W. M. Watson, 1870; 
H. J. Rhodes, 1871-72; J. W. Cooper, 1878; J., H. Morgan. 1879-80; W. B. 
Derrick, 1881-83; Horace Talbert, 1883 to present time. 

Wesleyan African Methodist Society. Meeting-house in 1845 in 
Spring Street. Incorporated, April 28, 1845. 

Pastors : M. Bates, 1846; John Lowery, 1848-49. 

Second Wesleyan African Methodist Church. Meeting-house in 
1851, on Orange Street. In 8156, on Third Street, below Lark Street. 

Pastors: J. Sands, 1851; J. J. White, 1852-53; J. Sands, 1856-57; S. 
Streeter, 1859-61; J. Sands, 1866-70; Edward Matthews, 1872. 

Methodist Protestant Church. Organized 1831. First meetings 
held in the house of Christopher Heferstall in Liberty Street. Church in 
Hallenbake Street, between Beaver and Hudson streets, dedicated Decem- 
ber 7, 1834. 

Pastors : C. W. Denison, 1834 ; Thomas Pearson, 1838-39 ; Albert R. 
Speer, 1841 ; James Rawson, 1841. 


First Presbyterian Church. (See pages 332, 336, 337, 397, 448). 
Second meeting-house sold December, 1849. Edifice built in 1847-49, on 
Hudson and Philip streets, dedicated March 10, 1850. Sold to the First 
Methodist Society in 1883. The present beautiful brown-stone building on 
the southeast corner of State and Willett streets, at Washington Park, erected 
in 1883-84, dedicated May 18, 1884. 

Pastors : William Hanna, 1763-65 ; Andrew Bay, 176 ; John Mc- 
Donald, 1785-96; David S. Bogart, 1796-98; Eliphalet Nott, 1798-1804; 
John B. Romeyn, 1804-08; William Neill, 1809-16; Arthur Joseph Stans- 
bury, 1817 21; Henry R. Weed, 1822-29; John N. Campbell, 1831-64; 
J. McC. Blayney; James M. Ludlow, 1865-68 ; Walter D. Nicholas, 1880 to 
present time. 

Second Presbyterian Church. (See pages 442, 443). Chapel on the 
corner of Pine and Lodge streets erected in 1865. 

Pastors. John Chester, 1815-28; William B. Sprague, 1829-69; Anson 
J. Upson, 1870-80; James H. Ecob, 1881 to present time. 


Third Prksbyterian (Clinton Square) Church. Society organized 
February 5, 1817, by the union of a number of the members of the First 
Presbyterian church and of those of the Associate Reformed church. The 
first meeting-house on Montgomery sold to the Bethel society in 1844. 
Corner-stone of edifice on Clinton Square, junction of Clinton Avenue and 
North Pearl Street, laid July 29, 1844. Dedicated, December 3, 1845. 

Pastors: Hooper Cumming, I81T-2;^, Joseph Hulbert, 1828-24; John 
Alburtiss, 1825-28; William H. Williams, 1828-30; William Lochead, 1881- 
88; William James, 1884-35; Ezra A. Huntington, 1837-55; Ebenezer Hal- 
ley, 1855-75; Horace C. Stanton, 1877 to present time. 

Fourth Presbyterian Church. Incorporated, December 1, 1828. 
Church erected in 1829, on north side of Market (Broadway) Street, be- 
tween Patroon and Wilson streets, and dedicated May 20, 1830. Demolished 
in 1865, Corner-stone of present edifice laid September 12, 1865. Dedicated 
September 18, 1866. 

Pastors: Edward N. Kirk, 1829-35 ; Edward D. Allen. 1838-42; Sam- 
uel Fisher, 1848-46 ; Benjamin N. Martin, 1848-49 ; H. Mandeville, 1850-54; 
Samuel T. Seelye, 1855-68; Henry Darling, 1864-81; Charles Wood, 1881 
to present time. 

Fifth Presbyterian Church. Organized, December 5, 1831. First 
meetings held in the old city-hall. 
Pastor : Alonzo Welton, 1832. 

State Street Presbyterian Church. First trustees elected, October 
16, 1860. Society organized March 28, 1861. Corner-stone of church, south 
side of State Street, between Dove and Swan streets, laid July 18, 1861. 
Dedicated October 12, 1862. 

Pastors : Alexander Twombly, 1862-66 ; George C. Heckman, 1867-70 ; 
John James, 1872-76 ; John McC. Holmes, 187^7 to present time. 

Sixth Presbyterian Church. Organized December 8, 1869, in Mis- 
sion Chapel of the Fourth Presbyterian church. No. 142 Second Street. 
Church on south side of Second Street, between Lark and North Swan streets, 
erected in 1871. 

Pastors : A. H. Dean, 1870-73 ; William Durant, 1873-82; J. D. Coun- 
termine, 1882 to present time. 

United Presbyterian Church. (See page 429). Edifice on south side 
of Lancaster Street, west of Eagle, erected in 1860. Opened for services in 
January 1861. Old church building, corner of Chapel and Canal streets, 
sold March 5, 1861. 

Pastors: John McDonald, 1801-19; James Martin, 1824-42 ; R. J. Ham- 
mond, 1843-44 ; Samuel F. Morrow, 1846 to present time. 

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. (See page 430). 

Pastors : Andrew Wilson, 1802-07 ; John Mcjimsey, 1810-15 ; James 
Christie, 1823-29. 

West End Presbyterian Church. House of worship, northeast cor- 
ner of New York Central Avenue and Third Street. Society organized 
June 3, 1878. Church dedicated, March 25, 1877. 

Pastors : Robert Ennis, 1888 ; Oliver Hemstreet, 1888 to present time. 


Sprague Presbyterian Chapel. Corner-stone of building, on north- 
west corner of State and Snipe (Lexington Avenue) streets, laid June 25, 
1868. Dedicated, January SI, 1869. 

Reformed Presbyterian Church. Meeting-house corner of Dallius 
and Bass streets. 

Pastor : David Scott, 1887-40. 


Reformed Protestant Dutch Church. (See pages 58-57, 83, 84, 90, 
91, 99, 104-107, 161, 164, 165, 174, 177, 178, 179, 190, 192, 198, 194, 195, 
262, 279, 280, 282, 284, 296, 306, 382, 426, 434, 485, 448.) 

Pastors : Johannes Megapolensis, jr., 1642-49 ; Gideon Schaets, 1652-91; 
Godefridus Dellius (colleague, 1683-91) 1692-99 ; Johannes Petrus Nucella, 
1699-1700; Johannes Lydius, 1700-10; Petrus van Driessen, 1712-88; Cornelis 
van Schie, (colleague 1783-88,) 1738-44; Theodorus Frielinghuysen, 1746-59; 
Eilardus Westerlo, 1760-90; John Bassett, (colleague, 1787-90,) 1790-1804; 
(John B. Johnson, colleague 1796-1802,) John Melanchton Bradford, 1805-15; 
(John DeWitt, colleague, 1813-15.) May, 1815, separation of the members 
and the formation of the two societies known as the First and Second Re- 
formed Protestant Dutch churches. 

First Reformed Protestant (North) Dutch Church. (See pages 
426, 448.) May, 1815, separated from the government of the great consistory 
of the original church. 

Pastors: John M. Bradford, 1815-20; John Ludlow, 1828-33; Thomas 
E. Vermilye, 1835-39; Duncan Kennedy, 1841-55; Ebenezer P. Rogers, 
1856-62; Rufus W. Clark, 1862-83. 

Second Reformed Protestant (South) Dutch Church. (See pages 
434, 435,) May 1815, separated from the government of the great consistory 
of the original church. Known as the ** Middle Church" after the erection of 
the Third Reformed church on the corner of Green and Ferry streets. Last 
services in the old church March 6, 1881. Edifice on northeast corner of 
Madison Avenue and Swan Street erected in 1881. 

Pastors : John DeWitt, 1815-23 ; Isaac Ferris, 1824-36 ; Isaac N. Wyck- 
off, 1836-65 ; Joachim Elmendorf, 1865-72 ; Dwight K. Bartlett, 1874-81 ; 
Wesley R. Davis, 1882 to present time. 

Third Reformed Protestant Dutch Church. Organized, December 
19, 1834. First service held in the Reformed F*resbyterian church in Wes- 
terlo Street, December 7, 1834. Corner-stone of edifice, on northeast corner 
of Green and Ferry streets, laid April 20, 1837. Building burned September 
28, 1841. New church erected on its site in 1842. 

Pastors : Edwin Holmes, 1835-40 ; William H. Campbell, 1841-48 ; 
Rutgers Van Brunt, 1848-49 ; William H. HaJloway, 1849-53 ; Alexander 
Dickson, 1853-59 ; William H. Miller, 1862-63 ; William Bailey, 1863-67 ; J. 
Searls, 1868-70 ; E. Van Slyke, 1872 ; D. K. Van Doren, 1873-74 ; J.' B. 
Campbell, 1876-82 ; Edwin F. See, 1883 to present time. 

Fourth Reformb:d Protestant (German) Church. Schuyler Street, 
below South Pearl Street. 


Pastors : H. Schnellendruessler, 1858-64 ; J. F. Neef, 1866 to present 

Holland Reformed Dutch Church. Organized November 6, 1859. 
Building corner Orange and Chapel streets. 

Pastors : William A. Hubolt, 1868-64 ; P. B. Bahler, 1866 ; William A. 
Hubolt, 1872 ; A. Zwemer, 1874-76 ; C. Criekard, 1877-78; H. K. Boer, 
1880 to present time. 

Dudley Reformed Protestant Church. Corner-stone of edifice 
erected on the south side of Lancaster Street, between Hawk and Swain 
streets, laid October 29, 1860. Church sold to St. Paul's Episcopal con- 
gregation in 1862. 

Pastor : Alexander Dickson, 1860-61. 


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. (See page 475). 

Bishops of the Roman Catholic diocese of Albany : Right Rev. John 
McCloskey, installed September 19, 1847, continued in charge till 1864 ; 
Right Rev. John J. Conroy, installed, October 15, 1865 ; Right Rev. Francis 
McNierney, installed, April 21, 1872. Edgar P. Wadhams, rector, 1853-71 ; 
John Walsh, 1882 to present time. John J. H anion and Richard H. Gahan, 
assistant priests, 1884. 

St. Mary's Church. (See pages 422 and 423). Old edifice on Pine 
Street, between Barrack and Lodge streets, demolished September, 1829. 
Corner-stone laid, October 13, 1829. Church opened for service, August 
29, 1830. Building demolished, April, 1867. Corner-stone laid, August 11, 
1867. Dedicated March 14, 1869. 

Priests : Matthew O'Brien, 1779 ; James Burke, 1808 ; Paul McQuade, 

1813 ; Brennan, 1825; Savage, 1826-27 ; Charles Smith, 1829-35; J. 

A. Schneller, 1836-47 ; Thomas A. Kyle, 1848-49 ; Thomas Doran, 1851-66 ; 
C. A. Walworth, 1867 to present time. 

St. John's Church. Incorporated, July 23, 1838. Church on Herkimer 
Street in 1838. Afterward corner of Ferry and Dallius streets. 

Priests: John Kelly, 1838; James McDonough, 1844-47; P. McClosky, 
1847-61 ; C. Fitzpatrick, 1862-67 : E. Bayard, 1867-73 ; John Walsh, 1874- 
81 ; James Ludden, 1882 to present time. 

Church of the Holy Cross. (German). Corner-stone of building, 
on the corner of Hamilton and Philip streets, laid May 12, 1860. Dedicated, 
November 23, 1851. 

Priests : Theodore Noethen, 1850-78; Joseph Ottenhues, 1880 to present 

St. Joseph's Church. (See page 478). Edifice on corner of Ten Broeck 
and Second streets. 

Priests. John J. Conroy, 1845-65; T. M. A. Burke, 1866 to present 

St. Patrick's Church. Corner-stone of building erected on northwest 
corner of Bowery (Central Avenue), corner of Perry Street, laid December 2, 
1866. Dedicated, August 30, 1868. 


Priests: A. McGeough, 1859-64; Felix McGinn, ISBo-Yl; P. J. Smith, 
1874 to present time. 

St. Ann's Church. Corner-stone of building on northwest corner of 
Nucella (Fourth Avenue) and Franklin streets laid July 28, ISBY. Dedicated, 
December 20, 1868. 

Priests: Thomas Doran, 1867-80; Edward A. Terry, 1881 to present 

Church of our Lady of Angels. (German). Corner-stone of building 
on northeast corner of Robin Street and Central Avenue laid November 
29, 1868. 

Priests: Francis Neubauer, 18G9-7V; Pius Kotterer, 1878-79; Maurice 
Bierl, 1880-83; Caesar Cucchiarini, 1883 to present time. 

Church of the Assumption. Building on the north side of Hamilton 
Street, between Grand and Fulton streets, purchased from the First Baptist 
African Society. Dedicated, December 12, 1869. 

Priests: M. LaPorte, 1870-72; M. Dugas, 1873; C. M. Lesage, 1875-76; 
P. O. Renand, 1877; Joseph Brouillet, 1878-81. Clovis Thirbault, 1882-83; 
G. HulberdauU, 1883 to present time. 

Church of the Sacred Heart. Edifice northwest corner of Walter 
and North Second streets. Organized August 5, 1874. First services held 
in the chapel on Erie Street. Corner-stone laid August 27, 1876. Dedicated, 
May 23, 1880. 

Priest : Frank J. Maguire, 1874 to present time. 

Church of our Lady Help of Christians. (German). Corner-stone 
of church No. 72 Second Avenue, laid June 27, 1880. 

Priests: S. A. Preisser, 1876-83; I. H. Cluever, 1883 to present time. 


Second Advent Society. Meetings in 1851 held in Blunt's building, 
corner of State and South Pearl streets. In 1852, in Rechabite Hall, No. 
77 State Street. 

Pastors: J. D. Ross, 1858-59; William Wilson, 1862-64. 


First Unitarian Society. First services held in the capitol in 1830. 
Incorporated November 29, 1842. In 1843, services held in Blunt's build- 
ing, corner of State and South Pearl streets. Afterward in Rechabite Hall, 
corner of State and North Pearl streets. Society purchased Methodist 
church in Division Street. Sold in 1869. 

Pastors : W. H. Lord, 1844 ; Henry F. Harrington, 1845-47 ; Orville 
Dewey, 1849 ; George F. Simmons, 1853-55 ; A. D. Mayo, 1856-63 ; Charles 
G. Ames, 1865 ; H. C. Leonard, 1866-68. 

First Universalist Society. First meetings held in 1824 in Masonic 
lodge-room on Washington Street. Meeting-house erected in 1829 on Herki- 
mer Street, between Green and Franklin streets. Dedicated, October 11, 
1829. Incorporated, March 23, 1830. Corner-stone of church, erected on 
Green Street, laid July 25, 1833. 


Pastors : W. S. Balch, 1830 ; Isaac D. Williamson, 1830-3'7 ; Stephen 
R. Smith, 1837-42; S. B. Britton, 1842-43; L. B. Mason, 1843-45; S. B. 
Britton, 1846-47 ; R. P. Amber, 1847-48 ; W. H.Waggoner, 1848-50 ; O. D. 
Miller, 1851 ; A. A. Thayer, 1852-54 ; J. E. Pomfret, 1858-59 ; James Pettit, 
1861 ; DeForest Porter, 1862. 

Second Universalist Society. Meetings held in 1834 in a building 
on Westerlo Street. 


Bethel Church. Society for watermen, organized in vestry-room of 
St. Peter's church, January 31, 1840. Incorporated June 16, 1840. Third 
Presbyterian church in Montgomery street bought in 1844 and used by the 

Pastors : T. R. Rawson, 1840 ; John H. Miles, 1843-50. 


1771. November. The Albany Gazette. Alexander and James Robert- 
son, publishers. Weekly. Discontinued about 1776. 

1782 Monday, June 3. The New York Gazetteer, or Northern Intelli- 
gencer. Weekly. Balentine & Webster, publishers. 

1784. Friday, May 28. The Albany Gazette. Weekly. Charles R. 
Webster, publisher. 1789. May 25. Semi-weekly. Discontinued, April 
14, 1845. 

1788. January 26. The Albany Journal, or Montgomery, Washington 
& Columbia Intelligencer. Semi-weekly. Charles R. & George Webster & 
Company, publishers. Discontinued, May 25, 1789. 

February 11. The Federal Herald. Weekly. Claxton & Babcock. 

The Albany Register. Weekly. Robert Barber. Revived in 1818 by 
Israel W. Clark. 

1796. November. The Chronicle. John McDonald. Discontinued 
in 1799. 

1797. The Albany Centinel. Loring Andrews. Afterward by Whit- 
ing, Backus & Whiting. November 10, 1806, discontinued. 

1806. November 11. The Crisis. Isaac Mitchell. 1808. Harry Cros- 
well & Co. William Tucker, printer. In 1809 name changed to The Balance 
and New York State Journal, Croswell & Frary. Discontinued in 1811. 

1807. The Guardian. By Van Benthuysen & Wood Court Street, 
three doors below Hudson Street. Discontinued about 1840. 

1812. April 11. The Albany Republican. Samuel R. Brown. 

1813. Tuesday, January 26. The Albany Argus. Semi-weekly. Jesse 

1815. June. The American Magazine. Monthly. Edited by Horatio 
Gates Spaflford. Discontinued, May, 1816. 

September 25. Albany Daily Advertiser. Theodore Dwight, editor. 
John W. Walker, printer. Subsequently consolidated with the Albany Ga- 


1819. June 5. The Plough Boy. Henry Homespun, (Solomon South- 
wick,) editor. John O. Cole, printer. 

1822. August 3. The Oriental Star. Weekly. Religious. Bezaleel 

1828, Religious Monitor. Chauncey Webster. 

National Democrat. William McDougal, publisher. Discontinued April 
7, 1824. Revived April 20, by Solomon Southwick. 

1825. August 8. The Albany Patriot and Daily Commercial Intelligen- 
cer. George Galpin. 

July 25. National Observer. Solomon Southwick. 

1826. August 2. Daily Chronicle. Charles Galpin & M. M. Cole. 
Specimen copy, April 22, 1826. Also Albany Morning Chronicle. John 
Denio & Seth Richards, 1887. Discontinued in 1827. 

1827. February 3. American Masonic Record and Albany Saturday 
Magazine. B. E. B. Child. American Masonic Record and Albany Lite- 
rary Journal, January 30, 1830. 

May. The Albany Christian Register. L. G, Hoffman. Christian Reg- 
ister and Telegraph united with the Journal (of Utica), and published by 
Hosford & Wait as the Journal and Telegraph, November 21, 1831. 

May. The Antidote. Solomon Southwick, editor. Webster & Wood, 

The Standard. Weekly. Matthew Cole. 

August 4. The Comet. Daniel McGlashan. 

The Albany Times and Literary Writer. Daniel Glashan, printer. 

1880. January. The Albanian. Semi-monthly. Arthur N. Sherman. 

March 22. The Albany Evening Journal. Thurlow Weed, editor. E. D. 
Packard & Company. 

April 3. Farmers, Mechanics and Workingmen's Advocate. McPherson 
& McKercher. 

1831. September 7. Albany Literary Gazette. John P. Jermain, editor. 
James D. Nicholson, publisher. 

November 21. Journal and Telegraph. Horsford & Wait. 

1832. Januarys. Daily Craftsman. Roberts & James, editors. 

18:s4. March. The Cultivator. Conducted by J. Buel, J. P. Beekman 
& J. D. Wasson. 

April 5. The Daily News. Hunter & Hoffman. 

1835. July 25 The Zodiac. Periodical. Erastus Perry. 

October 12. The Albany Transcript. C. F. Powell & Company. 

1838. January 6. The Family Newspaper. Weekly. Solomon South 

July 4. Daily Patriot. Abolition paper. J. G. Wallace. 

1840. September 19. The Unionist. A daily campaign paper. C 
Loveridge and others. 

1841. The Albany Atlas. Vance & Wendell. 

1843. September 4. Daily Knickerbocker,. Hugh J. Hastings. Weekly 
Knickerbocker, June 8, 1851. 

1844. Albany Spectator. 

1845. April 9. The Albany Freeholder Weekly anti-rent paper. Thos. 
A. Devyr. 


1846. December 8. Albany Herald. A. B. Van Olinda. 
December 17. Albany Morning Telegraph. 

District School Journal. 

1847. September lii, Albany Morning Express. Penny paper. Stone & 
Henly. Discontinued March 22, 1850. Albany Weekly Express, February 
1, 1851. 

1848. The Castigator. Mortimer Smith, editor. 

1849. May 15. The Albany Daily Messenger. Penny paper. B. F. 
Romaine, editor. 

June f^O. Sunday Dutchman. 

1850. February IG. Albany Daily Times. Heron, Furman & Thornton. 
Albany Evening Atlas. 

1851. September 1. Albany Daily Eagle. Penny paper. John Sharts. 

1852. Temperance Recorder. 

Albany Freie Blaetter. August Miggael. 

1853. February 1. Evening Transcript. Penny paper. Cuyler& Henly. 

1856. March 23. Albany Daily Statesman. 

April 21. Albany Morning Times. Stone & Company. 

September 8. Albany Evening Union. Penny paper. J. Macfarlane. 

1857. Albany Microscope. Charles Galpin. 

Monday, May 4. Albany Morning Express. J. C. Cuyler, editor. Stone 
& Henly, publishers. 

Albany Evening Herald changed to Albany Evening Union, June 29, 

1858. American Citizen. 
Evening Courier. 

1863. January 17. Standard & Statesman. 

1865. October. Albany Evening Post. Penny paper. M. & E. Griffin. 
1883. Outing. Outing Publishing and Printing Company, No. 59 North 
Pearl Street. 


The Albany Argus. (See page 442). First publication, Tuesday, Janu- 
ary 26, 1813. Semi-weekly. Jesse Buel, editor and proprietor. First pub- 
lication as a daily paper, August 18, 1825. Daily Albany Argus and Albany 
Evening Atlas consolidated under the name of Atlas and Argus, February 
18, 1856. (Calvert) Comstock & (William) Cassidy. April 6, 1865, by Wil- 
liam Cassidy. The Argus, Monday, May 15, 1865. The Argus Company 
formed May 6, 1865. William Cassidy, editor: Daniel Manning and J. Wes- 
ley Smith, associates. St. Clair McKelway, present editor. Sunday issue 
began, May 13, 1877. Argus building on south-west corner of Broadway and 
Beaver Street. 

The Albany Evening Journal, first published March 22, 1830, by B. D. 
Packard & Company. (See page 468). Thurlow Weed, editor. March 17, 
1884, first published by the Albany Journal Company. W. J. Arkell, presi- 
dent, J. W. Drexel, James Arkell, and John A. Sleicher, secretary, treasurer 
and editor. Printing-house, No. 61 State Street. 

Albany Times. First published as the Albany Morning Times, Monday, 
April 21, 1856. Stone & Company, (Alfred Stone, David M. Barnes, and 


Edward H. Boyd), corner of State and Green streets. Consolidated with 
Evening Courier, March 1, 1861. First issued as an evening paper, Septem- 
ber 25, 1865. Albany Weekly Times, first issued, July 16, 18'72. Theophi- 
lus C. Callicott, proprietor since May, 1881. Printing-house, No. 401 

Albany Morning Exprbss. (See page 475). Second publication, Mon- 
day, May 4, 1857. J. C. Cuyler, editor. Stone & Henly, publishers and 
proprietors. Corner of State and Green streets. Albany Weekly Express 
first issued, August 4, 1881. Sunday edition, March 4, 1883. Albany 
Morning Express Company: Edward Henly, Jacob C. Cuyler, Addison A. 
Keyes, and Nathan D. Wendell. Printing-house southwest corner of Green 
and Beaver streets. 

Daily Press and Knickerbocker. First issue of the Sunday Press, 
May 15, 1870. Daily Press first published February 26, 1877. Daily Knicker- 
bocker, September 4, 1843. Daily Press and Knickerbocker consolidated, 
August 10, 1877. Weekly Press and Legislative Journal first issued January 
8, 1873. The Press Company: John H. Farrell, Myron H. Rooker, and 
James Macfarlane. Printing-house, No. 18 Beaver street. 

EvETiNO Post. First published. October 1865, at 427 Broadway. M. 
& E. Griffin, proprietors; R. M. Griffin, editor. Office No. 7, Hudson 

Albany Evening Union. First published, Monday, May 29, 1882, by 
the Union Printing and Publishing Company. Office Beaver Block, South 
Pearl Street. Since Monday, July 16, 1883, by John Parr, editor and pro- 
prietor. Establishment, No. 28 Beaver street. 

Freie Blaetter. First published in 1852 by the present editor and pro- 
prietor, August Miggael, at No. 26 Beaver street. German daily paper. 
Der Sontagsgast, issued since 1882 as a suppjiment to the Saturday's edition. 
Present office, No. 44 Beaver street. 

Taglicher Albany Herold. A German daily paper. First published, 
Tuesday, October 10, 1871, by Jacob Heinmiller. Began publication as 
Der Albany Herold, on Monday, February 11, 1869; issued on Mondays, 
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, from office No. 346 Broadway. Hertz 
& Heinmiller. Present office. No. 87 Westerlo street. 

The Cultivator & Country Gentleman. Weekly. January 4, 1866. 
Luther Tucker & Son. J. J. Thomas, editor. The Cultivator, monthly, first 
published in March, 1834. Conducted by J. Buel, J. P. Beekman & J. D. 
Wasson. The Country Gentleman. Weekly. First issued, January 6, 1853. 
Luther Tucker & John T. Thomas, editors. 

The Inquirer AND Criterion. Semi-weekly. April 30, 1884. Rev. B. 
F. McNeil. The Criterion first issued, December 31, 1881. Weekly. Charles 
S. Carpenter. February 20, 1882. Burdick Si Taylor. Discontinued, Jan- 
uary 5, 1884. Office No. 481 Broadway. 

The Catholic Telegraph. Weekly. First published in Albany, Jan- 
uary 1, 1881. Telegraph Publishing Company incorporated in June, 1883. 
M. J. Ludden, editor. 

The Guide. I. O. ofO. F. First published February 15, 1881. Office 
Nos. 394 and 39() Broadway. D. H. Turner, editor. Issued every two 
weeks. D. H. Turner & G. B. Powers, publishers. 



Albany Law Journal. Monthly. Firstpublished January 8,18 VO. Isaac 
Grant Thompson, editor. Weed, Parsons & Company, publishers. Print- 
ing-house, Nos. 39 and 41 Columbia street. Present editor, Irving Browne. 

Our Work at Home. Monthly. First published September, 1875, at 
the rooms of the City Tract and Missionary Society, No. 40 State Street. 
Charles Reynolds, editor. Present office, No. 9, North Pearl Street. Charles 
Reynolds and George Sanderson, jr., editors. 

The Voice. Monthly First published, January, 1879, at No. 401 Broad- 
way. Edgar S. Werner, editor and proprietor. Office No. 59 Lancaster 

Forest, Forge and Farm. First published in Albany, June, 1883. H. 
S. Quackenbush, editor. Office in Tweddle building. 

Poultry Monthly. First issued November, 1879. The Ferris Publishing 
Company. Office No. 481 Broadway. 

The Medical Annals. Firstpublished, January, 1880. Committee of 
Albany County Medical Society. January, 1882, by Burdick & Taylor. 
No. 481 Broadway. 


Peter Schuyler, 1686-1694. 
Johannes Abeel, 1694-1695. 
Evert Banker, 1695-1696. 
Dirk Wessels, 1696-1698. 
Hendrick Hansen, 1698-1699. 
Peter Van Brugh, 1699-1700. 
Jan Jans Bleecker, 1700-1701. 
Johannes Bleecker, 1701-1702. 
Albert Ryckman, 1702-1703. 
Johannes Schuyler, 1703-1706. 
David Schuyler, 1706-1707. 
Evert Banker, 1707-1709. 
Johannes Abeel, 1709-1710. 
Robert Livingston, jr., 1710-171' 
Myndert Schuyler, 1719-1721. 
Peter Van Brugh, 1721-1723. 
Myndert Schuyler, 1723-1725. 
Johannes Cuyler, 1725-1726. 
Rutger Bleecker, 1726-1729. 
John DePeyster, 1729-1731. 
Hans Hansen, 1731-1732. 
John DePeyster, 1732-1733. 
Edward Holland, 1733-1741. 
John Schuyler, 1741-1742. 
Cornelius Schuyler, 1742-1746. 
Dirk Ten Broeck 1746-1748. 

1 Last mayor appointed by an Eng^lish j 

2 See pagre 376. 

Jacob C. Ten Eyck 1748-1750. 
Robert Sanders 1750-1754. 
Hans Hensen 1754-1856. 
Sybrant G. Van Schaick 1756-1761. 
Volkert P. Douw 1761-1770. 
Abraham C. Cuyler, 1770-1776.1 
John Barclay, 1778-1779.2 
Abraham Ten Broeck, 1779-1783. 
John J. Beekman, 1783-1786. 
John Lansing, jr., 1786-1790. 
Abraham Yates, jr., 1790-1796, 
Abraham Ten Broeck, 1796-1799. 
Philip S. Van Rensselaer, 1799-1814. 
Elisha Jenkins, 1814-1819. 
Philip S. Van Rensselaer, 1819-1821. 
Charles E. Dudley, 1821-1824. 
Ambrose Spencer, 1824-1826. 
James Stevenson, 1826-1828. 
Charles E. Dudley, 1828-1829. 
John Townsend, 182U-1831. 
Francis Bloodgood, 1831-1834. 
Erastus Corning, 1834-1837. 
Teunis Van Vechten, 1837-1838. 
Jared L. Rathbone, 1838-1841. 
Teunis Van Vechten, 1841-1842. 
Barent P. Staats, 1842-1843.